PORT Adelaide will decide within the next few weeks whether it will approach the AFL for permission to recruit top-up players to cover suspended pair Angus Monfries and Patrick Ryder.
The Power will upgrade two rookies to cover the senior list positions vacated by Monfries and Ryder, but that still leaves them a player short of Essendon in terms of total list numbers.
The Bombers started 2016 with 45 players on its senior and rookie lists, 12 were suspended but with 10 new top-up players their total number of players will stand at 43 ahead of round one.
If Port was to simply accept the current situation it would begin its premiership campaign with 42 players.
The Power haven't lost 12 senior-listed players for the season like the Bombers, but on sheer numbers the current concessions allowed by the AFL leave them short.
Football manager Chris Davies told AFL.com.au the club would consider its options over the next 10 days before deciding whether to seek rookie replacements.
"The club is still considering what its next steps are," Davies said.
"If we deem that we want to go down the path of having additional players then we'll put a submission to the AFL in the next week or 10 days and go from there."
It remains unclear whether the Western Bulldogs, St Kilda or Melbourne will also ask for permission to recruit replacements for Stuart Crameri, Jake Carlisle and Jake Melksham.
Davies couldn't confirm whether the Power would also seek financial compensation from Essendon as suggested by chairman David Koch, but insisted the club had "number of issues to consider at the next board meeting".
That meeting is scheduled to take place at the end of January.