BY ROGER VAUGHAN
STEWART Crameri has joined his former Essendon teammates in hitting the wall, with a new hip injury sidelining him for as many as three AFL matches.
Crameri’s fresh injury further depletes the Western Bulldogs’ attack, which coach Luke Beveridge says will be quite different for Saturday’s Etihad Stadium game against Brisbane.
Key forward Travis Cloke is the latest casualty – his rib injury will put him out of action for four to six weeks.
Crameri played the first two rounds as he returned from his season-long doping suspension.
He was among the 34 current and former Essendon players who were hit with bans last year that stemmed from the Bombers’ supplements debacle.
After their belting from Adelaide on Saturday night, Essendon coach John Worsfold said their returning players had hit the wall.
And on Tuesday, Beveridge revealed that Crameri is no chance to bolster their forward line for at least the next two or three weeks.
“He has a bit of hip flexor injury, so he’ll be out at least this week and possibly the next two or three,” Beveridge said.
“It’s a fresh injury – he’s had a bit of a grumbly hip in recent times.”
Jack Redpath (knee) and Jordan Roughead (hamstring) are also sidelined and Beveridge said losing Cloke was affecting their forward structure.
“It has a bit of an impact, obviously we’re one tall down and Jack Redpath is still out of the team,” he said.
“We don’t really have too many other talls available to come in, so our configuration down there will be quite different to how we’ve started the first four rounds.
“Trav’s been terrific at different stages and played extremely well against Sydney, so we’ll miss him.”
One positive is that ruck-forward Tom Boyd should be available after he suffered concussion in the Good Friday win over North Melbourne.
“We think he’s going to be fine, but again he’s going to need to get through that ‘cog state’ test,” Beveridge said.
The coach was also pleased with how premiership players Shane Biggs and Caleb Daniel responded after they were dropped last week.
“They accepted they needed to go back and work on a couple of things and they did really well,” he said.
“So they’ll be considered this week.”
© AAP 2017