ESSENDON'S injury crisis has deepened with key players Dylan Shiel and Jake Stringer suffering hamstring injuries in the Bombers' loss to Richmond.
The Bombers' 22-point defeat to the Tigers was soured further by the soft-tissue setback for the pair.
Stringer left the field in the second quarter of the Dreamtime at the 'G clash and didn't return, while Shiel missed the last term.
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Coach John Worsfold said the club is unsure of the severity of the injuries for the duo but is hopeful they will be at the lower end.
"They don't seem to be too bad, but I'm no expert in that area," he said post-game.
The Bombers are already missing Joe Daniher (groin) and Devon Smith (knee) for the rest of the season, while important goalkicker Orazio Fantasia isn't expected to return from his quad injury until after the club's round 12 bye.
Worsfold defended the club's long injury list, particularly around the treatment of Daniher's osteitis pubis which has resurfaced after last year's long layoff.
"We've spent hours and hours and liaised with a lot of specialists around Joe's injury. About how it happened, what the injury was and then how we handled it and what we do now that it hasn't cleared up and it's got poor again," he said.
The Bombers were just starting to get the best out of Dylan Shiel. Picture: AFL Photos
"The experts that have been involved in that, I have full faith in the way they've handled it.
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"Two hamstrings tonight, who knows why they've come about? We'll have a look if there was anything different in our program and have a look why we might've had two players pick up hamstring [injuries].
"Like we always do we'll assess all those things."
All Australian defender Cale Hooker was moved into attack late against the Tigers as the Bombers made a fourth-quarter dash at mowing down the deficit, but Worsfold said he hadn't yet considered whether that would be a permanent shift next week to help a depleted forward half.
The Bombers' finals hopes are teetering after their 4-6 start to the season ahead of next Sunday's clash with Carlton.