‘Hard to gauge’: Long Daniher wait rolls on
Essendon's football manager Dan Richardson says Joe Daniher has only just begun running without pain "in the last three or four days".
While the club has not set a timeline, Richardson conceded it could be a "stretch" to see him on the field in the first half of the season.
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After a trip to Ireland to visit a groin specialist, he said Daniher was "progressing well" in his recovery from the recurring injury that has limited him to just 11 games in the past two seasons.
"Given it's been a couple of years, it's a hard one to really gauge how quickly he will progress back into full training," Richardson said on SEN Breakfast.
"He has already been doing a little more than jogging, he is sort of stepping up to striding.
"So as long as he continues to be pain free, as long as he can continue to progress.
"Obviously he is a terrific athlete when he is up and going.
"So look, he may progress pretty quickly, we're not going to put any time on it because it's just fruitless to do so.
"What we want to do is when he does come back that his body is resilient enough and strong enough to withstand the rigours of the game.
"But we're confident he is progressing in the right direction."
Daniher had attempted to flee the Bombers in a trade to Sydney, but the two sides could not come to terms and he was forced to stay at Tullamarine to continue his rehab.
Still just 25, Daniher, who was, this week, voted out of the leadership group by his teammates, stamped himself as one of the best forwards in the game in 2016 and '17, booting 43 and then 65 goals, before being cruelled by the injury.
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