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Injury puts key Don in doubt, but not out of finals yet

Worsfold: 'It was the best we could do with what we could work with' John Worsfold further clarified the reasoning behind the wealth of changes that swept his side this week

ESSENDON is unlikely to get an immediate understanding of whether Michael Hurley's shoulder injury will rule the star defender out of the club's finals campaign.

Hurley suffered a dislocated shoulder in the early stages of the side's 11-point loss to Collingwood on Friday night, failing to return to the field for the rest of the match.

He will be sent for scans this weekend, though the type of injury means the results of his testing could still leave the Bombers unaware as to his availability for finals.

"I'm not sure whether the scans will tell with these injuries, or whether it's the range of movement that he's got," coach John Worsfold said after the match.

"I'm a bit in the dark with how we're going to know, what it is and what the time frame is."

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Despite the defeat, Essendon has already ensured its spot in September and will look to break a 15-year finals drought when it takes part in an elimination final in a fortnight's time.

For now, Worsfold is refusing to make a judgement as to whether Hurley is part of that.

"It's subluxed," Worsfold said.

"It was pretty sore, so we ruled him out (of Friday night's game). But how much damage has been done, you can't really tell right now. He's not ruled out of the next game.

"When I say that, he's probably not ruled in either. But we're hopeful that the damage and the soreness from it won't be too bad and that he'll be able to get through that."

Essendon managed a host of key players for Friday night's round 23 clash, ensuring they will be fit and ready to go for the club's upcoming finals campaign next month.

Dyson Heppell (foot), Orazio Fantasia (hip), Jake Stringer (soreness) and Cale Hooker (illness) are among those set to return, though David Zaharakis (syndesmosis) has been ruled out.

While that preparation isn't ideal, Worsfold does not want to use it as an excuse.

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"All of the others I think will be alright," Worsfold said.

"It's an unknown, like everyone else. There are going to be teams going into the finals with a lot of expectation on them. We're going in there to do our absolute best.

"Our build-up, I can't remember a time where I've been disrupted so much with having a settled team. But that's not necessarily going to impact us in two weeks' time.

"We've got a good chance to train together now and build up for it."