Bomber skipper can’t shoulder load, out for season
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”.