Essendon are not looking to rush star forward Joe Daniher back into the side.
Daniher has struggled with injury in the past year and coach John Worsfold said the club are aiming to set him up for the rest of his career.
“Joey’s working really hard. That (osteitis pubis) injury can be a chronic, crippling injury so our number one priority is that it doesn’t linger and affect multiple seasons for Joey,” Worsfold said at Essendon’s annual general meeting.
“He’s still coming into his prime years, so if the sake of him absolutely getting over this injury means it actually takes a little bit longer than him being absolutely ready for round one, then we’ll do that.”
Daniher is yet to return to full training and is likely to do so after Christmas.