ESSENDON star Zach Merrett will spend the next two weeks with his left ankle in a moonboot after suffering a sprain at training on Friday morning.
While the club is uncertain about the exact timeline of his injury, Bombers football manager Dan Richardson expected him to be available for Essendon's round one clash with Greater Western Sydney on Sunday, March 24.
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"Unfortunately, Zach suffered the injury during a competitive training drill earlier this morning which was scanned immediately, and subsequently he will be required to wear a moonboot for approximately two weeks," Richardson told essendonfc.com.au.
"We expect a clearer picture on his return to training once swelling in the affected ankle subsides over the next week.
"At this point, we don't anticipate the injury will impact Zach's availability for the commencement of the season."
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The 23-year-old finished third in the club's best and fairest in 2018 after playing every game and averaging 27 disposals.