Ben Hobbs, Essendon, during the Round 14 AFL match against St Kidla at Marvel Stadium. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images via AFL Photos)

Essendon have confirmed that young midfielder Ben Hobbs has suffered a calf strain at training last week, expected to be sidelined for a few weeks.

Hobbs managed 17 games in 2022, his debut season, after being drafted with pick no.13 in the 2021 national draft.

Scans have confirmed that the 19-year-old suffered a low-grade strain, now expected to miss at least the Bombers' first practice match against Gold Coast on February 23.

Essendon's General Manager of Performance Daniel McPherson said that the club is expecting the young Bomber to make a quick recovery.

“Ben has completed a full pre-season up to this point, so we expect him to recover quickly,” McPherson said.

“His calf has settled quickly and should only require a small de-load before he re-enters the program in the coming weeks."

In better news for the Dons, Matt Guelfi has begun running as he continues his recovery from his own calf strain, also expected to miss the practice match against the Suns.

Essendon's second practice match, scheduled for March 3, will see them take on St Kilda before their season opener against Hawthorn on March 19.