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Bombers star out with three others in doubt, tributes flow for former Eagles coach



Dashing defender Mason Redman has been ruled out of Essendon’s crucial AFL showdown with Carlton due to a hamstring strain, while star forward Kyle Langford will have to establish his fitness.

Redman was sore after Sunday’s loss to the Gold Coast, and Langford had to be replaced due to a corked hip.

The Bombers announced that their leading goalkicker Langford and ruckman Todd Goldstein (ankle), who were rested against the Suns, would need to go through training to show their fitness for Sunday night’s clash at the MCG.

Essendon has a bye after the Blues game and hopes Redman can recuperate in time for their round 15 meeting against West Coast.

Darcy Parish, a Gunners midfielder, has experienced a setback in his recovery from a calf strain and will be out for another five to six weeks.

Zach Reid, a talented but unlucky defender, will be racing against the clock to return this season after undergoing surgery for a ruptured pectoral muscle suffered in the VFL.

Reid has only played nine AFL games in four years, with one in each of the last two seasons, due to a string of injuries.

Given the potential recuperation time of up to three months, Reid is unlikely to play again this season unless the Bombers make the finals.

Carlton ruckman Marc Pittonet faces a fitness test as he prepares to return from a finger injury.

Patrick Dangerfield, who had a hamstring injury against Sydney, and forward Ollie Henry are both scheduled for fitness tests.

“Both are doing well; Dangerfield has been training with the team for almost two weeks, so he’ll be tested later this week,” assistant football manager Brett Johnson said.

“Ollie was subbed off during the weekend game because to hamstring awareness.

“His function was slightly limited during the game which was the reason for subbing him out, therefore he’ll be a test to play this week as well.”

St Kilda key forward Max King (knee) will have to pass a fitness test on Thursday before facing twin brother Ben’s Gold Coast on Saturday night. Suns captain Jarrod Witts has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, although he is expected to return in Round 15.

Brandon Starcevich (calf) is expected to return to the Brisbane Lions for Friday’s game against the Western Bulldogs after missing a month.

Todd remembered as a WA great

John Todd, a former West Coast coach and Western Australian football star, died at the age of 86.

Todd was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2003 and named a legend by the West Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

He was the youngest-ever winner of the Sandover Medal as a 17-year-old with South Fremantle in his debut season in 1955, and he had a remarkable playing career before a knee injury ended it.

Todd went on to establish himself as a coach.

Todd won six WAFL titles, four with Swan Districts (1982, 1983, 1984, and 1990), one with East Fremantle (1974), and one with South Fremantle (1997).

He also coached WA in State of Origin and Australia in International Rules matches.

He was West Coast’s second coach (after Ron Alexander and before Mick Malthouse), coaching the Eagles from 1988 to 1989, including their maiden finals participation in his first year.

“John Todd was successful in every aspect of his football journey and influenced so much of West Australian football to demand the highest standards and seek for constant improvement,” Richard Goyder, chair of the AFL, said.

“To win premierships at three different clubs is a remarkable accomplishment. He shaped players into great teams, but I also want to mention that John had an incredible passion for the game and football fans throughout his life.

“When I had the opportunity to spend time with him in recent years, he was still a regular attendee at games, engaged with everyone involved in football, and was a strong advocate for the game and what it could do for individuals and communities.

“He was incredibly tough, building his career after injury took away his playing days, and he had the highest standards as a coach, but he was also incredibly generous and he was a person who made our game great, particularly in WA in the time when state league football was the pinnacle of the game.”

Todd’s memories will be commemorated during the Australian Football Hall of Fame inductions later this month.

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