MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 21: Jordan Ridley of the Bombers heads to the bench during the round 19 AFL match between Essendon Bombers and Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium, on July 21, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Essendon defender Jordan Ridley has been placed back under an injury cloud after exiting the Dons' Friday night loss to the Bulldogs with a noticable quad complaint.

Like his side at large, Ridley, 24, started the game well, largely blanketing opposition spearhead Aaron Naughton while reeling in 14 marks and nine intercepts of his own.

Yet the star stopper limped off Marvel Stadium midway through the final term after seeming to strain his right leg when moving the ball upfield.

This latest setback arrives after Ridley raced the clock with a strained knee on a short break to take his place in Essendon's hefty Round 18 loss to Geelong.

Speaking in the wash-up of this latest deflating defeat, Bombers head coach Brad Scott claimed the club would wait to see how Ridley pulled up.

"It looks like a quad strain," Scott said.

"We'll do the usual: get it scanned and get back to you with the detail. But he did it kicking, so it wasn't a cork."

After sliding back to ninth with five weeks left until finals, anxious Bomber fans will have every joint crossed that Ridley's return will be swift - especially considering his proficiency in one-on-one contests.

Scott and his charges will take the rest of the weekend to lick their wounds before doing battle with Sydney in the Docklands next Saturday night.