MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 25: Dyson Heppell of the Bombers looks dejected as he leaves the field following the round 10 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Essendon Bombers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 25, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Dyson Heppell has ruled himself out of Essendon's season opener against Fremantle.

The Bombers captain continues to manage a foot injury, and did not feature in the Marsh Community Series.

“It’s good to make the call (to miss) now. It’s a long season and I’m continuing to manage the rehab around the foot,” Heppell said at the AFL Captain's Day on Tuesday.

“It’s probably progressing a bit slower than we’d like, but I’m working closely with the medical team, so we’ll take the conservative approach for round one and go from there.”

Before Monday's Marsh Community Series win over Geelong, swing man Cale Hooker praised his captain, saying the team are eager for Heppell to get back to his best.

“He (Heppell) has probably been a bit slower than expected (in his recovery). He was really brave playing injured for us last year, helping us get into finals and having a crack at it,” Hooker said.

“We just want him back to his best, however long that takes, even if that is a few weeks.”

Heppell, 27, averaged 26.3 disposals and 3.8 clearances per game last season.