Essendon midfield-forward threat Jake Stringer is understood to be on a modified training program ahead of the new year as he continues to battle a groin issue.
Stringer was kept to 15 appearances this season due to injury setbacks in the opening half of the year, with the former Bulldogs eventually playing out the final 11 matches of the Bombers' home and away campaign.
A hamstring complaint saw Stringer miss five successive weeks this year, while a groin issue impacted the 28-year-old late into the season.
A similar issue is said to still be hindering Stringer, with CODE Sports reporting that Essendon have placed Stringer on a modified training program until 2023.
The Bombers are looking to manage the groin issue as Stringer prepares for his 11th season in the AFL and sixth in the red sash.
It is expected that Stringer will return to full training in the new year, with the energetic utility currently held out of certain drills at Tullamarine.
The Bombers have a short list of casualties as we near 2023, with young tall Nik Cox suffering an ankle injury last week in what was an early blow to the 20-year-old third pre-season.
Cox joins Jye Caldwell (shoulder), Tex Wanganeen (ankle/foot) and James Stewart (foot) in carrying injuries into December, while new draftee Jayden Davey missed training on Monday due to health and safety protocols.
Senior players in Essendon's squad reported for their first official training session on Monday, with the Bombers working through the early weeks of Brad Scott's reign with the Dons.
Essendon were confirmed to face Hawthorn on the first Sunday of the season to begin their new era under Scott, hoping to improve on their 7-17 record from this year.