Sean Darcy could return to football as soon as this weekend with the ruckman recovering quickly from an ankle injury, according to high performance manager Jason Weber.

Darcy injured his ankle playing for Peel against Claremont on 18 May and sustained what was initially suspected to be a serious injury.

Weber said that the 20-year-old was set to return to football quicker than expected thanks to the hard work from Darcy and a club physiotherapist.

“We had to initially go with a really conservative assessment on Sean’s return date, he had quite a serious mechanism (how the injury was sustained) and his initial presentation was quite bad,” Weber said.

“It was one of those situations where we had to wait and see how it proceeded over the next 48 hours.

“The level of treatment Sean received from (rehabilitation physiotherapist) Marshall Stockton, and his application as well - we’re talking 20 hours out of 24 in a day - they worked really hard.

“At this stage, Sean has got himself to the point of being a test this week. He’s no guarantee, but he certainly has improved significantly and it’s been due to the work both he and Marshall have put in.”

Weber said that small forward Hayden Ballantyne was also a chance to return to football this weekend from a hamstring injury.

“Hayden’s been training really strongly, we had him in some team training last week and he’ll progress through training this week to see if he is available for selection,” Weber said.

Weber gave a positive update on midfielder Harley Bennell, who was impressive for Peel on Saturday against West Perth in his first football appearance of the season.

“Harley pulled up really well,” Weber said.

“He had a bit of a loosen-up session and a jog today, he’ll train with the team later in the week and essentially, he got through the game unscathed.

“We look forward to increased performances from here.”

Weber said that Stephen Hill was on track for a return after the bye, with the running midfielder listed as two weeks away with a quad injury.

“Stephen again trained really strongly on the weekend,” Weber said.

“We really put him up to match type intensity. He’ll train with the team this week and, all things going well, we’ll see him back in purple very soon.”

Weber said that ruckman Aaron Sandilands has ticked off a milestone in his recovery from a calf injury.

“Aaron is on the field and running and he ran really well over the weekend,” Weber said.

“He’s certainly starting to get some speed back and now he can start building up towards some game volumes over the next few weeks, but he’s in really good spirits and training hard.”

Weber said that Hugh Dixon was expected to miss two weeks with a hamstring injury and Luke Valente will miss three weeks with an ongoing groin issue.

“Hugh was just a little bit overloaded last week and he pulled up with a little hamstring injury, it’s quite minor but he’s getting moving and we hope to see him back very soon,” Weber said.

“Luke’s just had some ongoing groin issues. He had them on arrival at the club and we haven’t been able to quite get past them.

“He’s again progressing strongly in the elements he needs to and we’re hoping to see him back on the field soon.”

PlayerInjuryEstimated duration
Hayden BallantyneHamstringTest
Sean DarcyAnkleTest
Stephen HillQuad2 weeks
Sam SturtConcussion2 weeks
Hugh DixonHamstring2 weeks
Luke ValenteGroin3 weeks
Shane KerstenFootTBA
Aaron SandilandsCalfTBA
Matt TabernerFootSeason