ESSENDON has suffered a fresh injury blow with doubt surrounding the availability of reigning best and fairest winner Devon Smith ahead of its round nine clash with Fremantle.
The hard-tackling forward is off to see a specialist this week after reporting new soreness in the knee that he has had to carefully manage over the past two years.
FULL INJURY LIST Who's ruled out and who's a test?
"During the Sydney game, Devon had three sharp episodes in his knee in a different spot to what he'd had over the last couple of years with his knee having a PCL deficiency, which means the PCL isn't present," club performance manager Justin Crow said on Tuesday.
"He's got a new lesion within the knee, so he will be off for a specialist opinion this week and we'll be able to update further once we've got more direction from the specialist."
Smith is set to join a lengthy injury list that includes Orazio Fantasia (quad), Shaun McKernan (hamstring), Mitch Brown (wrist), Martin Gleeson (cheek) and James Stewart (groin).
Crow confirmed Fantasia, who kicked four goals against Sydney, most likely won't return until after the club's mid-season bye.
In better news for the Bombers, who slipped to 13th on the ladder with a 3-5 record after a tight loss to the Swans, Joe Daniher and Mark Baguley, who were both rested last week, are set to return for the clash with the Dockers at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.
Jayden Laverde is also back in full training after overcoming a hamstring injury.