Bomber skip­per can’t shoul­der load, out for sea­son

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

JOBE Wat­son’s shoul­der re­quires a re­con­struc­tion that puts him in the same ugly sit­u­a­tion as Gary Ablett and Scott Pendle­bury last sea­son.

Ablett missed al­most a year of footy af­ter shoul­der surgery at Round 16, 2014, while Pendle­bury had a re­con­struc­tion at the end of last sea­son and man­aged to play Round 1.

Wat­son will play Round 1 in 2016 un­less there are some com­pli­ca­tions.

Wat­son car­ried the in­jury into Sun­day’s match against St Kilda and hurt it early in the first quar­ter.

The in­jury oc­curred the pre­vi­ous week late against Hawthorn, when Wat­son and Tay­lor Duryea col­lided go­ing for the same ball.

Essendon club doc­tor Bruce Reid yesterday said Wat­son ag­gra­vated the in­jury in the open­ing mo­ments of his 200th game.

Wat­son had a scan on his shoul­der late on Mon­day and the Bombers learned the news abut 3pm yesterday.

“His MRI un­for­tu­nately shows that he has an un­sta­ble shoul­der and has sig­nif­i­cant dam­age,” Reid said.

“He saw ( spe­cial­ist) Greg Hoy this af­ter­noon and that meet­ing de­ter­mined he will re­quire surgery.”

Coach James Hird said the club felt for Wat­son.

“It’s cer­tainly tough to re­place a leader and player like Jobe, but given the cir­cum­stances we find our­selves in, it presents mem­bers of our play­ing group with the op­por­tu­nity to show­case their lead­er­ship and abil­ity to re­spond against Mel­bourne on Satur- day,” Hird said. The in­jury dis­missed week­end dis­cus­sion that Wat­son’s needed time away from the game be­cause he was men­tally fa­tigued from the WADA in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

One Essendon in­sider said that “peo­ple don’t know Jobe Wat­son if peo­ple think he’d walk away for a rest. He’s one of the most com­pet­i­tive play­ers in the com­pe­ti­tion”.

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