MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 13: The injure Michael Hurley of the Bombers is seen during the round 17 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium on July 13, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Essendon has confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that although veteran defender Michael Hurley has been discharged from hospital, the 30-year-old will remain sidelined for an extended period.

Hurley was recently readmitted for clinical aid due to his battles with a hip infection.

Essendon general manager of football Josh Mahoney stated that Hurley’s health remained the club’s most pressing concern.

“First and foremost, Michael’s health and wellbeing is our main priority right now and he is now recovering after being in hospital again over recent days,” Mahoney told essendonfc.com.au.

Although Hurley is expected to make a return and add to his 193 games with the Bombers, Mahoney stressed that both the coaching and fitness staff agreed patience would prove prosperous for the defender’s recuperation.

“Having spoken with Michael, he is in reasonably good spirits but is now resting and in recovery. We do need to see how he responds as the infection clears over the coming days before we can put any timelines on his return to the club and training.

“We’ll continue to take a conservative approach with the management of this infection with Michael but we’re hopeful of a full recovery soon.”

With no timeline attached to the former number five draft pick’s recommencement, Hurley remains in doubt for his side’s opening round clash against Hawthorn on March 20.

The dual All-Australian backman has played 193 AFL games for the club since making his senior debut in 2009.