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1:30pm  Aug 16, 2018

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Hogan another two to three weeks away

Matt Burgan  June 19, 2017 12:00 AM

He (Hogan) just need a couple of weeks of full training and then he’s ready to go

COACH Simon Goodwin says key forward Jesse Hogan is still at least two to three weeks away from returning.

Speaking after Melbourne’s 57-point win over the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, Goodwin said Hogan was making good progress after recently undergoing surgery for testicular cancer.

“He’s still probably two to three weeks away,” he said.

“He just need a couple of weeks of full training and then he’s ready to go.”

Meanwhile, Goodwin said the way Cam Pedersen and Tom McDonald had played in the ruck in recent times was the reason why Jake Spencer didn’t come back into the team this week. Spencer was sidelined for six weeks, but has been an emergency and played for Casey in the past two rounds. 

“Jake’s a really important player for us, even though he came back from injury,” Goodwin said.

“His form in the VFL was a little bit up and down, but it’s good to have the big man available.

“But just with the way Tom and Pedersen were going at that point, we felt the team was pretty settled and had some pretty good connection with what we were doing. That’s probably the reason why we didn’t take Jake in [against the Bulldogs].”

Goodwin also praised the performance of youngsters Oscar McDonald and Sam Frost down back.

Looking ahead to next Saturday’s clash against the West Coast Eagles at Domain Stadium, Goodwin said it was another big test for his side.

“It’s another important game, traveling to Perth to play the Eagles. Our VFL team played last night (Saturday) and played really well, so we’ve got some really strong performances from the VFL. We’ve got some guys who can potentially come in,” he said. 

“We’ve seen this period as an opportunity to grow and develop, and build momentum in our season.

“We’re not sitting here saying that we’re whingeing about the draw – we want [this period] to be seen as an opportunity to get better.”