North Melbourne midfielder Jaidyn Stephenson has successfully undergone surgery to repair a hairline fracture in the scaphoid bone of his left wrist.
Stephenson reported soreness in the wrist following Saturday’s loss to Collingwood, with resulting scans revealing the fracture.
General Manager of Football Brady Rawlings says he hopes Stephenson will be back in selection consideration not long after the bye.
“He’s a really important player for us, but we deemed the best course of action was to go down the surgical route [and] repair the scaphoid,” Rawlings said.
“[He’ll] hopefully be back within about a six-week period, [that’s] our best-case scenario.”
Aiden Bonar will also undergo surgery this week after the defender injured his left ankle in the third quarter of Saturday’s clash with Collingwood.
Rawlings says Bonar will spend a significant stint on the sidelines while he recovers from the ankle procedure.
“Aidan suffered a high-grade medial ligament ankle injury … he’ll be going in later this week to have surgery,” he said.
“It’ll be quite a lengthy rehab period which is unfortunate … we’re hoping to get him back towards the latter part of the year … the round 16 to round 18 mark at this stage.”
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A timeline has not been placed on the return of Aidan Corr from the toe infection he picked up after the Round 2 clash with Gold Coast.
Rawlings says the overall health of Corr is more important than his return to football.
“We’re still having quite a bit of trouble with the infection. It hasn’t healed the way we would have liked which has obviously extended his time out of the game,” he said.
“We’re not as concerned about his return to play when we’ve just got to get this infection right.”
Jed Anderson is making good headway in his recovery from an ankle injury, with the midfielder slowly starting to ramp up his running loads.
Despite the progress in his recovery, Rawlings says Anderson won’t be available for selection until after the bye.
“Jed’s in a recovery phase at the moment so he’s out of the boot and he’s quite mobile getting around and we’ll expect him to start running reasonably soon.”
“We’ll ramp up his loads then and we’ll expect to see him at some point after the bye.”
After losing much of his 2020 season to injury, Dom Tyson has suffered a recurrence of the calf problem that plagued him last season.
Rawlings says the club will be taking a conservative approach to Tyson’s rehab and recovery due to his history of calf issues.
“He ha a really good pre-season, made some really big strides and hadn’t really missed a beat up until recently where we had another calf episode,” he said.
“[We’re] still working through the severity of that but given he has had a fair history … we’ll be really conservative with his management.”
Jared Polec is recovering well from his hamstring injury but, much like Tyson, due to the recurring nature of his hamstring problems the club will be taking a conservative approach to his recovery.
Rawlings says Polec is back running but will be unavailable for some time yet.
“Jared had a hamstring a number of weeks ago. Given he’s had a few injuries over the last year and a half we’re being really conservative with this one,” he said.
“He’s running but not at the level where he’d be ready to start getting back to playing football, so we’re still some weeks away from seeing Jared back on the park.”
Charlie Comben is back increasing his running loads after suffering a stress fracture to right tibia in pre-season.
Rawlings says due to Comben’s recovery is tracking well, and that he’s been able to complete solid gym work over the duration of his recovery so far.
“We’re very conservative with such a young player and one that hasn’t played a VFL game for us yet two years in our system,” he said.
“He’s tracking quite well, progressing well with the running intensities and we’ll just continue to monitor that. We’ve got him in the gym working on his full-body strength throughout this period and hopefully we get him back to full health.”
Luke McDonald is still some way from returning and is still in a sling, but the nature of his injury allows him to continue to complete conditioning work.
Rawlings says the ability to ramp up his conditioning training bodes well for getting him back in the side as soon as he increases the strength levels in his surgically repaired pectoral muscle.
“One positive out of this injury we still can get that load into him. Even though he’s got the arm strapped up he can still do some skills as well, albeit very limited and obviously no contact,” he said.
“In terms of his fitness that’s still something we can keep at a pretty high level. Once he’s starting to get some strength back into the pec and bicep region we can start ramping him up getting ready to play.”
Will Walker is another player who will be heading for surgery after suffering a thumb injury in the VFL.
Rawlings says the club is targeting a return for Walker after the bye.
“Will Walker fractured his thumb in our VFL game on Saturday up in Southport, so we’ve had him in for surgery. We anticipate he’ll be back in around the four-week mark.”