Sam Draper celebrates during the round seven match between Essendon and Collingwood at the MCG, April 25, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ESSENDON coach Brad Scott says Sam Draper couldn't have responded better to his recent dressing-down as the ruckman appears no guarantee to return from injury against Greater Western Sydney.

Scott also dismissed reports a media ban had been placed on the charismatic ruckman after attracting ire for comments made about Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge on a podcast.

While imitating a journalist as part of a fun role play, Draper stated some Dogs players would request a trade at season's end if Beveridge stays on as coach.

Beveridge described the comments as "bizarre" while his Bombers counterpart Scott said they were "disrespectful" and he'd let Draper know he was "really disappointed" in him.

When asked how Draper, 25, had responded to his criticism, a grinning Scott said: "Like the gun he is.


"I love Sam, I love working with him. This is the opportunity that I see, as a coach of young men - you make a mistake and you learn from it and you acknowledge a mistake and move on.

"I've even had a briefing that we put a media ban on Sam - we haven't put a media ban on Sam Draper.

"I mean, that would be doing a disservice to our fans and to all those little kids running around with mullets with No.2 on their Essendon jumper. We want Sam out in the media in public and representing our club.

"He had a misstep, he learned from it, we put a full stop on it, we've dealt with it as a club and as a team and now 'Drapes' more than anyone wants to move on."


After missing last week's win over West Coast with a knee injury, Scott said Draper's selection depended on how he got through training.

Draper had his leg strapped and looked proppy early in Wednesday's training.

"That's certainly our intention - to get him out and train and hopefully he feels really good," Scott said.

"But again, we need him to be very close to 100 per cent before we play him. 

"It's the knee that's the issue - the previous (hip) surgery he had last year's not the issue that's keeping him out of playing.

"He's just got what we hope is a relatively minor knee issue, but it's a bit sore and if he trains well, he'll play. But if he's not close to 100 per cent, he won't."

Jye Caldwell trained and is expected to face his former club on Saturday at Marvel Stadium despite being substituted out of the West Coast game with calf tightness.

Young defender Zach Reid (hamstring) could return via the VFL.