Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti is set to play his first game in 588 days after being named as Essendon’s substitute to take on Hawthorn at the MCG.
McDonald-Tipungwuti took personal leave from Essendon early in February 2021 and never returned to the playing field before retiring mid-year.
However, a change of heart has seen the 29-year-old rewarded with a spot in Brad Scott’s 23 to start the season.
Essendon assistant coach Blake Caracella said McDonald-Tipunwuti’s return was in credit to hard work
“It’s a fantastic story for Walla. He walked away from the game last year and to get back and get himself fit enough to play is a real attribute to him as a person,” Caracella told AFL Nation.
.@essendonfc assistant coach Blake Caracella joins Matt Hill @Matthew_Cocks & @SandoBrent pre-game at the MCG.
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“We know the players love him, the supporters love him and we can’t wait to see him get out there and play.”
Sunday’s clash will be McDonald-Tipungwuti’s 127th game and his first since Round 1, 2021.
Conor Nash will be the substitute for Hawthorn.