The West

Powerful Claremont forward Brenden Abbott will miss the State combine next month as he recovers from a serious ankle injury sustained in the last match of the WAFL season.

But AFL recruiters suggested Abbott's absence would not harm his chances of being drafted.

"It might actually help the clubs who have an eye on him because he won't be exposed at the combine," one recruiter said.

Abbott sustained a syndesmosis injury - effectively a split ligament in his ankle - when he landed awkwardly after being knocked out by East Perth defender Fraser McInnes in a marking contest last Saturday. Abbott will be in a moon boot for two months and will not be fit to take part in the combine on October 12.

Twelve WAFL players have been invited to the national combine in Melbourne starting on September 30, while another 18 will take part in the State version.

Under-18s representatives Connor Blakely, Jarrod Pickett, Alec Waterman, Clem Smith and Aidan Anderson are considered excellent prospects to be drafted.

Mature-aged players including Abbott and his Claremont teammate Mitch McGovern, South Fremantle's Haiden Schloithe, West Perth's Kody Manning, East Fremantle defender Sam Read and Subiaco duo Shane Yarran and George Hampson remain on the radar of AFL recruiters.

The West Australian

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