Essendon coach John Worsfold says the club must know Jobe Watson’s intentions for next season within the next fortnight.
Watson is the only member of the club’s 12 suspended players yet to reveal his intentions for 2017.
Nine of the 12 players have re-committed for next year, with Dyson Heppell, Cale Hooker, Michael Hurley, Tom Bellchambers, Travis Colyer, Heath Hocking, Brent Stanton, David Myers and Ben Howlett all re-signing.
“Certainly within a fortnight we’d have to know for sure,” Worsfold said on RSN radio.
“But my guess is that it will be before that. The club has to keep moving and we need to base our decisions on what our list is going to look like.
“Jobe’s a wonderful part of our list if he chooses to play on and a big part we’ve got to replace if he chooses not to.
“Jobe’s ready to play on, if he chooses to. He’s kept himself in great nick.
“I’ve caught up with him, he’s in a good space, he had a great time away. He’s enjoyed the year for making the most of a bad situation, so he’s had some experiences that he wouldn’t have otherwise.
“But it’s a lot to weigh up for him, he has to be absolutely 100 per cent sure that he’s ready for what the game’s going to challenge him on in this next period – this next year or two.”