Young Essendon defender Michael Hurley has suffered a setback in his return to AFL football. Whilst playing for the Bombers affiliated VFL team Bendigo on the weekend Hurley sustained a fractured scaphoid which is notorious for the length of time for which it takes to heal.

Hurley, taken with pick #5 in last years National Draft, was named Bendigo’s best afield in just his 3rd game back from suffering from a torn quadriceps muscle.

The full extent of the injury and how long it will keep the 18-year-old off the track will not be known until exploratory surgery is taken this week.

Sydney forward Barry Hall missed 7 weeks of football in 2008 with a similar injury in the infamous game that will be remembered for his strike to Brent Stakers face.

The news is a blow for the Bombers, Hurley showed plenty of promise over the Bombers pre-season campaign but only managed to take the field in round one against Port Adelaide before being struck with injury.