Essendon forward Aaron Farncis has taken leave from the club, as he battles with personal issues.
Francis, who was taken in the first round in the 2015 Draft, has played just five games for the Bombers, but continues to impress at VFL level and is a fan favourite for most Essendon fans.
The 20-year-old asked for a trade back to South Australia at the end of last season, but the Bombers could not manage a deal.
Essendon forward Orazio Fantasia spoke to FIVEaa radio about Francis, and said he and his teammates are supportive of the youngster’s decision.
“He told the boys last week that he’s just going to take a little bit of personal time away from the footy club,” Fantasia told FIVEaa.
“Obviously the footy club and the boys understand that.
“Aaron is going to be a crucial part of this team, so to get him right off the field is number one (priority).
“You know how hard the game can be even if you’re in a good headspace.
“So he’s just taking a little bit of time away from the footy club at the moment.”
The Bombers have also suffered another blow, with fellow young gun Jayden Laverde out for the next 10 weeks with a serious hamstring injury.