When Essendon lost one mainstay forward, Stewart Crameri, to injury earlier in the season, Scott Gumbleton was chosen ahead of feted teenage teammate Joe Daniher to replace him.
The Bombers are set to face the same dilemma this week because of Michael Hurley’s likely absence.
The pair ranked among the Bombers’ top three in the VFL at the weekend, with Gumbleton the best and Daniher kicking five goals.
While Essendon has been cautious in promoting the lanky 19-year-old Daniher, in spite of the significant raps on him and his encouraging VFL form, it now has an opportunity to give him his debut against the club that lost out in the father-son draft duel for his signature.
”We’ll have a look,” Essendon coach James Hird said on 3AW on Monday night of the prospect of recalling Gumbleton or promoting Daniher for his debut.
”Scott was probably best on ground … and Joe was probably second-best, so there are a lot of decisions to make there.
”There’s … very good reasons to play either player, but in saying that we haven’t ruled [Hurley] out definitely yet.”
The likelihood of Daniher or Gumbleton being included has increased due to Essendon’s suspicion Hurley will miss one match after aggravating a left-ankle injury last weekend.
”It is very disappointing. He has done that ankle before [and faces] a real struggle to get up this weekend,” Bombers football operations manager Steve Alessio told the club’s website.
”He is pretty sore and proppy today, but they are going to do some further tests later on in the week … we will see how he goes.”
Of the seven matches Hurley has played in 2013, he has had to be substituted in three of them – twice due to the ankle injury that flared against Richmond after he fell awkwardly in a marking contest, and the other after he was concussed in a sling tackle by the Brisbane Lions’ Daniel Merrett in round eight.
Hurley has missed six matches due to injury in each of the past two seasons.
Since he made his debut in 2009 his longest unbroken streak of matches was 12 in 2010.
Alessio was more optimistic about the likelihood of Ben Howlett recovering from a blow to his shoulder and Paddy Ryder from a rolled ankle in time to face Sydney at the SCG on Saturday.
The Bombers also declared that small forward Alwyn Davey had recovered from the hamstring strain he suffered against Geelong in round seven.
One player whose immediate prospects are still to be determined is David Hille.
The ruckman was due to return on Monday from a fortnight in Europe for family reasons.
His training and playing schedule will be discussed with coaching and fitness staff when he returns to the club on Tuesday.
Hird predicted Hille would be ready to return to playing soon.
Stabbing victim Nathan Lovett-Murray is also still on track to resume running this week as part of his recovery from the biceps wound he suffered almost a week ago.
Sydney will also lose key forward Sam Reid to injury this week, but filling that void will not be the reigning premier’s only headache as it chases its first top-four scalp of the season against the Bombers.
The Swans will need to restructure their forward line after Reid was ruled out until after the bye at the earliest due to a quadriceps strain he suffered against Collingwood.
He will miss the games against Essendon and Adelaide but the Swans are aiming for him to return in round 13 against Port Adelaide, which is also when prized recruit Kurt Tippett is due to make his long-awaited debut in the red and white.
In the meantime, Jesse White and Tommy Walsh could deputise for Reid.
Further up the ground the Swans will be searching for a way to stop the red-hot run of Jobe Watson.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.