Bombers lock in Daniher return
ESSENDON star Joe Daniher will make his return to football against Carlton on Thursday night in the Bombers' opening JLT Series match at Ikon Park.
Daniher has been declared fit to play after finally overcoming osteitis pubis which has hampered him since the start of last season.
The 24-year-old forward, who was restricted to just seven games last year and hasn't played since May, will play limited game time against the Blues.
His return is a significant boost for Essendon ahead of Round 1.
"Joe's had a good progression of match play here over the last month," Essendon fitness boss Justin Crow said.
"We're really comfortable with how he's progressing, he's showing no signs of not doing well with his program that we've set out, so he'll be available to play some of the game in JLT (game) one."
There had been some fears Daniher would face a delayed start to the season after making slow progress in his return to full training.
Coach John Worsfold allayed those fears at the weekend when he declared his star forward was ready to return, it was just a matter of deciding when he should be unleashed to give him the best preparation for Round 1.
Daniher booted 65 goals in a breakout season in 2017 where he won All-Australian honours and claimed Essendon's best and fairest.
The Bombers open their season against Greater Western Sydney on March 24.