ESSENDON forward Joe Daniher's injury woes have continued, with a calf tear ruling him out of early season matches.
It is believed Daniher could miss up to six weeks.
FULL INJURY LIST Who's racing the clock for round one?
Having had his 2018 season ruined with osteitis pubis, Daniher, 25, had been carefully managed in the off-season and, until the calf problem emerged, had been expected to play in the Bombers' round one match against Greater Western Sydney on Sunday week.
Daniher reported tightness after Wednesday's training and a scan on Thursday confirmed what he called "a little nick".
"The body is feeling really good and I was pulling up really well," he said.
"This is a little bit annoying, that it's come now - I would have loved to have been out there in round one with my teammates and playing for the football club."
Joe Daniher to miss another month— Swamp (@sirswampthing) March 14, 2019
ESS have now played their last 15 matches without at least one Daniher, Fletcher or Watson in the line up
In previous 51 years (back to Ken Fletcher's debut) ESS never went more than 6 games without one of those names playing
Daniher said he was yet to meet with club medical staff and work out a timeframe for his return.
"I will be back playing as soon as it's physically possible," he said.
"I will be convincing them that I'm right to go - but I won't be making the same mistake twice."
While it is a significant blow, Daniher tried to put a positive spin on his injury.
"It's just a bad bit of luck and that happens, but the opportunity now is to get it right, take a little bit longer to fine-tune what I've been working on (with) my game," he said.
"Hopefully I will come back in and be able to perform, rather than ... just play.
"There's never a good time to get injured, but I have a fantastic opportunity now to take a little bit longer, work a little harder on those little things I want to fine-tune in my game and hopefully come back a better player."
Daniher's absence will put pressure on Jake Stringer to spearhead the Bombers attack.
Stringer was the Essendon's leading goalkicker last season with 30 majors, ahead of Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (26), Mark Baguley (20) and Orazio Fantasia (20).
Daniher played just seven games in 2018, kicking eight goals.
The Bombers will also be without key defender Cale Hooker for the early part of the season.