Heppell, Fantasia in doubt for Bombers

Essendon skipper Dyson Heppell (r) is in doubt for Sunday's clash with Gold Coast.
Essendon skipper Dyson Heppell (r) is in doubt for Sunday's clash with Gold Coast.

Essendon captain Dyson Heppell and star forward Orazio Fantasia are no certainties to take on lowly Gold Coast in Sunday's AFL match at Metricon Stadium.

Heppell returned to the Bombers' line-up on Friday night for their stirring away victory against Adelaide after missing the two previous weeks with a foot injury.

But the All-Australian midfielder admitted afterwards that he was feeling "ginger".

Essendon coach John Worsfold hoped that both Heppell and Fantasia, who missed the clash with Adelaide due to a hip complaint, would face the Suns, but admitted they were both in the same boat regarding selection.

"We'll monitor them throughout the whole week," Worsfold told reporters on Monday.

"He (Heppell) is every chance to play this week, but he may not and we may not know that until Thursday."

Worsfold was more optimistic about Zac Clarke's chances of returning after the ruckman also sat out the Adelaide clash due to illness following his best game for the Bombers against North Melbourne the previous week.

"Clarke's issue, from my understanding, is pretty much fully resolved - it was by the weekend, so I fully expect that he'll be right," Worsfold said.

Worsfold credited his undermanned side's victory against the Crows, which required Michael Hartley and Will Snelling to play their first AFL games of the year, in part to the club's VFL program.

"Our VFL boys have been in great form all year and it makes us comfortable that we've always got players in really good form available to come in," he said.

The seventh-placed Bombers have now won four games in a row for the first time since 2013 and all four victories have seen them come from behind late in games.

Worsfold puts that never-give-up attitude down to his players learning to avoid getting "panicky" when things aren't going their way.

"They haven't thought they have to try something different to turn this game around.

"It's just stick to what we know will work for us and if we keep trying to play that way for the whole game, we'll have really good periods where it pans out like that."

The last-placed Suns have lost their previous 13 games.

Australian Associated Press