Hewett ruled out, Hall on track to be available, Houston ‘recovering well’ & Witherden update

There were positive updates for the availability of Aaron Hall, Travis Boak and Dan Houston in Round 21, while West Coast accepted rookie Jai Culley’s two-game suspension for striking.



Carlton has declared George Hewett (AF $766k SC $536k D/M) will miss again this round with his back complaint. The Blues update said: “Remains a week-to-week assessment. Will not be available for this weekend.”

Aaron Hall (AF $691k SC $495k DEF) looks likely to be available for North Melbourne after a week spent in health and safety protocols. North Head of Performance Kevin White said: “He had a strong footy conditioning and strength session on Sunday and will train with the main group this week.”

Rookie Paul Curtis (AF $435k SC $282k FWD) should also be available after H&S protocols. White said: “He returned to the club today, and will train with the main group on Thursday. He’ll also be available if he clears that session.”

Another Roos rookie Jackson Archer (AF $229k SC $117k DEF) will face a test after picking up a hip knock. White said: “Jackson jagged his hip in a tackling contest in the third quarter, similar to the incident at training a few weeks ago. The plan will be for him to run today (Tuesday) and test it out at main training on Thursday.”

Port Adelaide provided an update on Dan Houston (AF $665k SC $485k D/M) who missed last round due to concussion protocols. The club said: “Dan Houston is recovering well following the concussion he had after the Round 19 game against Geelong and will clear the mandatory 12-day rest period on Thursday with a view to returning this week.”

Port also revealed Travis Boak (AF $742k SC $509k MID) has a fractured hand but will play on. The club update said: “Port Adelaide expects midfielder Travis Boak to be available to face Richmond on Saturday night despite the 34-year-old suffering a fracture in his left hand.”

From a Draft perspective, Dustin Martin (AF $592k SC $430k M/F) is cutting it fine to return in Round 23 from a hamstring injury. Tigers Physical Performance Manager Peter Burge said: “In terms of return to play, it’s still very unclear. We’re hopeful (Round 23) is a possibility, but as time rolls on, if we’re not able to progress significantly in the next week or so, that starts to become a little less clear.”

West Coast confirmed it had accepted the two-game ban offered Jai Culley (AF $332k SC $161k M/F) for striking Noah Anderson. There was good news with the injury he sustained against Gold Coast, with Eagles Head of Health Mark Finucane stating: “Jai’s pulled up quite well and we’ll just monitor his response over the week, but the early signs are we might have missed an injury there.”

The Eagles provided an update on the hamstring issue for Alex Witherden (AF $753k SC $477k DEF). Finucane: “Alex got through the game against St Kilda and then a couple of days later when all the other soreness after the game had settled he was still aware of his hamstring.

“It wasn’t one of those ones that he had a grab or an incident. There was a very low-grade strain on scan that’s settled quite well, and he’s shown good function today. He’s just got to get through training for the rest of the week to be available for the weekend.”

Finucane also provided an update on rookie Rhett Bazzo (AF $311k SC $176k D/F). He said: “Rhett had a kick to the inside of his ankle that puffed up in the game against St Kilda and it took most of last week for that to calm down. He did some modified training over the weekend and he’s responded well, so he’s just got to get through this week to be available for the weekend.

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