ESSENDON midfielder Dylan Shiel is in some doubt for the start of the 2024 season after undergoing post-season foot and knee surgeries.
Shiel, 30, was limited to just 12 games this year, including starting two of those as the substitute.
The former Giant was a trade option for clubs, but ended up staying at the Bombers, who said on Wednesday Shiel was "tracking towards a return to full training in late February".
With Essendon starting its season against Hawthorn on March 16, that puts Shiel in doubt for the beginning of the campaign.
It was otherwise mostly good news on the injury front for the Bombers.
Forwards Jake Stringer (foot) and Peter Wright (foot) and recruits Ben McKay (knee) and Xavier Duursma (hip) are on modified running programs and are set to re-join main training in the coming weeks.
Key-position player Sam Weideman is recovering from an Achilles problem that flared towards the end of the 2023 season, with the former Demon to re-join main training in January.
Ruckmen Sam Draper (groin) and Nick Bryan (thumb) are expected in full training in January and before Christmas respectively.
Young forward Tex Wanganeen underwent an operation on his foot at season's end, with his return to training set to come in February.
Defenders Jordan Ridley (quad), Jayden Laverde (thumb) and Zach Reid (back and hamstring) are in full training, while Nik Cox (ankle) has started a gradual integration into training and Harrison Jones (back and ankle) is set to be back in full training in the next week.