Essendon forward Joe Daniher is pushing for an AFL return, but SEN Breakfast hosts Tim Watson and Garry Lyon believe the club shouldn't rush him back in.
Daniher didn’t play after Round 7 last year due to osteitis pubis and was sidelined again after JLT1 due to a calf injury.
Essendon captain Dyson Heppell hopes the 25-year-old can make his return on Good Friday, but Watson thinks it’s too soon.
“For him, I think there’s an education process that he needs to go through to be what ultimately he might be able to be and fulfill his potential,” he told SEN Breakfast.
“It’s not about his athleticism but it’s about his ability to be able to work his opponent, to be able to position himself right for the rest of the forwards.
“Right now, if you’re Essendon, you think okay, the last two weeks cohesively the way they’ve played, they’ve kicked two big scores… playing the way they do.
“They’d be even thinking 'gee whiz, what does it do to our forward line to bring someone in like a Joe who plays another way and attracts the ball the way that he does'.
“'Is that going to disrupt the way we’re playing in our forward line?'”
Lyon believes that if Daniher is ready for a return, it should come through the VFL.
“For me, I would say; 'Joe, you’re playing VFL this week, we’re going to start you on the wing and we basically want you to get behind the footy so when the ball’s coming out of Essendon’s half, we want you to be able to run and jump and have a good go at taking a mark',” the former Melbourne captain said.
“'We’ll give you a quarter and a half of that to run around on your own'.
“'After half-time, we might transition you to somewhere else'.”
“I think that’s the sort of build-up he needs.
“The other option is throw him in against the Kangaroos in a cut-throat Good Friday, gets smashed and bashed and jumped on and doesn’t touch the footy much.
“What’s that going to do for him?”
The Bombers play the Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium on Good Friday.
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