MURRAY Bushranger Kieran Ellis is likely to miss the rest of the TAC Cup season with a broken hand.
Ellis suffered the injury playing for Collingwood’s VFL team at Queen Elizabeth Oval last Friday and his only chance of returning is if the Bushrangers go deep into September.
The setback has come at the worst possible time with the Bushrangers taking on Sandringham Dragons in Sunday’s first elimination final at Visy Park.
“It’s disappointing but that’s how it goes,” Ellis said yesterday.
“I heard a crack when I pushed off a bloke.
“There wasn’t much in it.
“Hopefully I can get back because I remember Hydey (Chris Hyde) doing something like this a few years ago.”
Ellis, who played two matches each for Essendon and Collingwood over the past month, is confident the Bushrangers will perform well against the Dragons this weekend.
“We should give it a good crack,” he said.
“It’s a nice big ground which will suit our midfielders.”
After winning four of their past five games, the Bushrangers will fancy their chances especially after defeating the Dragons by two points earlier in the season.
“We really put it back to the playing group to take ownership and drive the team into the finals,” coach Darren Ogier said.
“They have continued to improve and a number of players have really stood up to make their mark on the season.
“The players are feeling really confident and are looking forward to having a real impact on the finals series.
“As we know finals are a different game and it provides another opportunity for our group to perform on the big stage, when it matters most.”
The Bushrangers late season resurgence has been led by a competitive midfield group in North Albury ruckman Isaac Muller, Benalla captain Nick Mellington, Lavington’s Brydan Hodgson and Mooroopna’s Nathan Drummond.
Rennie’s Dan Howe will return from VFL duties with Richmond, but young guns Murray Waite (knee) and Michael Reidy will miss following injuries against Bendigo last weekend.
The match starts at 2.15pm.