MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 08: Aaron Francis runs with the ball past Gach Nyuon during an Essendon Bombers AFL pre-season training session at True Value Solar Centre on January 8, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Essendon defender Aaron Francis has suffered another setback in his bid for a senior debut.

Francis hurt his quad in the first 15 minutes of the Bombers’ 28-point VFL loss to Sandringham.

The backman, 18, tested his leg in an attempt to return but with the club unsure if he had suffered a strain or a corkie, they took a conservative approach and sat Francis out for the rest of the match.

The Bombers will know more after it settles down, with Francis likely to have his quad scanned.

It has been an unlucky beginning to the South Australian’s career after being taken at No.6 in last year’s NAB AFL Draft, with a calf tear earlier in the season restricting him to just three VFL games.