Re-signed Bombers star Wright ruled out of AFL opener
Essendon spearhead Peter Wright has a dislocated shoulder and could face a lengthy stint on the sidelines, in a massive blow for the Bombers.
Hours after the club announced Wright had re-signed until the end of 2027, the gun forward fell awkwardly in a marking contest in Friday's training session forcing him to leave early.
The Bombers have since confirmed Wright dislocated his shoulder and he will now have scans to determine the severity of the injury, which will also determine whether he requires surgery or how long he needs to spend on the sidelines.
"He won't play against Hawthorn on Sunday," the Bombers said in a statement.
"He has been sent for scans this afternoon with the results to dictate the next course of action for him.
"The club will work through rehab options in the coming days."
Wright's injury puts pressure on recruit Sam Weideman and likely young forward Harrison Jones to carry the load up forward at the MCG on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Wright is coming off a career-best 53 goals in 2022 when he claimed Essendon's best and fairest.
Before the injury, coach Brad Scott had hailed Wright's re-signing as a massive show of faith in Essendon's direction.
The lead-up to Scott's first game at the helm has been enveloped by media reports and speculation surrounding off-field tensions at the Bombers, specifically between list manager Adrian Dodoro and football boss Josh Mahoney.
It follows a chaotic second half of 2022, when Essendon underwent board upheaval, sacked then-coach Ben Rutten and later hired Scott which prompted director Kevin Sheedy to publicly say he'd have preferred James Hird.
Scott dismissed suggestions the Bombers' headlining-grabbing internal politics could affect his or his players' focus.
"Zero impact on me. Clearly the club has been through some pretty unstable times and we are searching for stability and I think that's really, really important but I wouldn't be standing here as coach right now if everything was perfect," Scott said.
"So it fits into what we've been saying around we certainly need to shift things culturally and we need to improve and the reality is we sit a long way off the best teams right at the moment.
"But that's why change has been made and we've got a lot of work to do to bring that stability that Essendon's craved for a long time.
"It's not ideal, but I mean it's not something that is going to shift my focus.
"My focus is absolutely where it needs to be, which is on the game this weekend and it hasn't interrupted our preparation."