Essendon's key defensive depth has taken another hit in 2024, with 22-year-old Zach Reid exiting the field in the VFL with a "likely torn pectoral muscle" on Sunday.

The injury occurred during Essendon's 72-point defeat to Box Hill, the club revealing on social media that he would take no further part in the game.

If Reid were to undergo surgery this week, he could miss up to 10 weeks of football, making it difficult for a return in season 2024.

It adds to a growing injury history for the 202cm key back, who was sidelined with a hamstring strain earlier this season, after managing just nine games at the top level in his four year career thus far.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 01: Nik Cox and Zach Reid of the Bombers are seen during the 2022 AFL Round 07 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Essendon Bombers at Marvel Stadium on May 01, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

He went hamstring surgery last year after a string of concerns and also suffered a stress fracture in his back during his first year at the club, an injury that unfortunately resurfaced last year ahead of the 2023 season.

The off-season recruit of Ben McKay has proved critical for the Bombers success so far in 2024, given their lack of depth behind him with this glaring injury concern.


For now, with the Bombers sitting second on the ladder, hope lies with McKay and his ability to stay on the track while the club's key defensive depth is recovered and bolstered.