Essendon assistant coach Daniel Giansiracusa remains "hopeful" that rising midfielder Jye Caldwell will be fit for the start of the 2023 season despite the 22-year-old sustaining an ankle injury during Friday evening's practice match loss at Moorabbin.
The Dons' 35-point defeat at the hands of Ross Lyon's Saint was compounded after Caldwell limped off ahead of the three-quarter time break.
While fears were raised after Caldwell was shown noticeably favouring his left ankle, Essendon officials cooly claimed the midfielder had rolled his ankle and would take no further part in the one-way contest.
Speaking post-game, Giansiracusa stated that while Caldwell had been booked in for scans, he remained upbeat about the former Giant's chances of earning Round 1 selection.
"Hopefully (the ankle) is not too bad. Obviously, that will get scanned. He's an important player for us," the backline coach expressed.
"That's the only one (injury), which is pleasing because you like to be healthy going into Round 1. Hopefully, Jye will get over that pretty quickly."
Though optimistic the key cog would be fit to face the Hawks in just over a fortnight's time, Giansiracusa stressed he would be waiting for a final diagnosis before planting his flag.
"These scans, you never know what pops up in the morning, but we're hopeful he should be ok," he added.
An injury scare for Jye Caldwell, but the Bombers are confident no serious damage has been done.
— Fox Footy (@FOXFOOTY) March 3, 2023
Whether minor or not, this latest niggle is sure to act as a splinter in Caldwell's side, with the former first-round draftee having seen setbacks since joining the Bombers ahead of the 2021 season.
Since making Tullamarine home after being traded from Sydney's west, Caldwell has donned the sash on just 23 occasions, having missed the vast majority of his debut Dons campaign with a hamstring injury.
Caldwell was able to feature in 20 of Essendon's 22 fixtures last season, staking his claim in the club's engine room after producing averages of 18.75 disposals and 2.95 clearances each week.