Finger injury forces Hooker out

22 June 2017 05:42:40 EST

Essendon hope Cale Hooker will miss just one game with a finger injury.

The in-form tall forward won't play against Sydney at the SCG on Friday, but the Bombers hope he will return the following week against Brisbane.

Hooker missed training during the week, having been struck on the end of his finger by a ball.

High performance manager Justin Crow said he'd suffered a dislocation, which was treated on the spot by the club's medical staff.

"On a positive note the dislocation didn't result in damage to the tendon or bone," added Crow. "We're optimistic that he'll be available to play against the Lions next week."

The absence of Hooker, who kicked five goals in his last game against Port Adelaide to take his season's tally to 23, is a major blow for John Worsfold's side. Essendon will replace him with upgraded rookie Shaun McKernan against Sydney.

Meanwhile, Gold Coast have upgraded young midfielder Darcy MacPherson to their senior list.

The 19-year-old, who played four games last season after being taken with pick No.21 in the 2015 rookie draft, replaces Michael Barlow.

Barlow, who joined the Suns at the end of last year after playing 124 games for Fremantle, will miss the rest of the campaign with a broken leg.

McPherson, who could come straight into the side to take on St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, has averaged over 30 disposals in the NEAFL this year.

Barlow had kicked 10 goals in his 12 games for Rodney Eade's side this year.

Gold Coast are 63/20 to beat the Saints, who are 1/4.

View all Australian Rules betting