Bombers’ Watson to announce AFL return

Essendon star Jobe Watson will confirm his AFL return on Friday morning.

After weeks of speculation about Watson’s future, he will most likely front the media from 9am at St Bernard’s College.

The banned Essendon players have used St Bernard’s as a training base during their doping suspensions.

Watson is the last of the 12 banned players still on Essendon’s list to confirm his intentions.

It means 10 of them will remain at Essendon, with Michael Hibberd likely to be traded to Melbourne and Tayte Pears deciding to pursue a career in firefighting.

Watson returned to Melbourne last week from overseas.

His ban only ended this week, a few days after his teammates, because he played in last year’s international rules series.

On Wednesday, Essendon coach John Worsfold said Watson had a fortnight to make the call on his playing future.

Watson dropped a big hint on Thursday night with a humorous Twitter post.

Along with a photo of Watson’s football boots and pet dog, he said “he (sic) mate, I’m going to need to borrow these back off you”.

But the uncertainty continues for Watson, despite his decision to keep playing.

The 34 current and past Essendon players have made a last-ditch appeal in the Swiss legal system to have their doping bans overturned.

If that fails, as expected, the AFL Commission will then decide on whether it strips Watson of his 2012 Brownlow Medal.

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