MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 23: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti of the Bombers celebrates a goal during the round 23 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Essendon Bombers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 23, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Essendon forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti is understood to be under an injury cloud this pre-season, with the Bombers livewire having not trained with the main group across the past fortnight.

The 28-year-old missed his side's final three matches of last season after facing some challenges with his body, with McDonald-Tipunguwti understood not to be injured at the time.

“He was challenged in that space with his body which was making it harder for him to perform at the level he would like to, and the team would like him to,” his manager Scott Lucas told SEN in September.

The 126-gamer has now reportedly suffered a calf complaint ahead of the 2022 season, prompting McDonald-Tipungwuti to be placed away from the primary training group as he continues his recuperation, per 7 News' Mitch Cleary.

Essendon are yet to confirm the extent of McDonald-Tipungwuti's injury publicly, with the club having returned to training in the New Year early last week.

The Tiwi Bombers product managed 20 games in 2021 before having his campaign cut short, booting an equal career-best 34 goals.

This season will be McDonald-Tipungwuti's seventh since landing at Tullamarine, with the goalsneak a key cog in senior coach Ben Rutten's system.

Essendon will look to make it successive top-eight finishes in 2022 and will begin their new premiership tilt against Geelong on Saturday, March 19.

The Bombers will also line up against The Bulldogs and Saints as part of their pre-season schedule.