STAR Essendon defender Michael Hurley downplayed concerns after reinjuring the left wrist that was operated on five months ago at the Bombers' intraclub in Tullamarine on Saturday.

Hurley copped an accidental kick in the second quarter and left the ground with a trainer.

He didn't return to the field, although the backman said he could have.

"I had surgery at the end of last year so it was just on that site. It's a little bit swollen but if it was a home and away game, I would've kept playing," Hurley said.

The dual All Australian was confident no serious damage had been done.

"I wouldn't think there's a break in there. I've broken both of them so I know what that feels like. Just ice it up, let it rest, and hopefully by the end of next week it should be fine," Hurley said.

The 27-year-old also had a hip operation after the 2017 season and was again named in the club's seven-man leadership group on Saturday.

In more positive news for Essendon, Jake Stringer shone on a wet and windy day.

The former Western Bulldog showed off an improved tank by spending much of the contest in the midfield, with his bursts and fend-offs on display. 

He hadn't forgotten how to play up forward either, finishing with two goals, including one from 55m after stepping around an opponent.

Coach John Worsfold told after the match Stringer could spend 70 per cent of game time in the midfield if required.

Stringer wasn't the only recruit to stand out, with Devon Smith (Greater Western Sydney) thriving as an onballer and Adam Saad (Gold Coast) showing plenty of his trademark zip after being on the receiving end of an early hit.

"(Stringer's) made some great inroads, still a way to go, but Jake knows that (and) is working really hard. He certainly adds a different element to our midfield," captain Dyson Heppell said. 

Andrew McGrath also impressed in the midfield, while Zach Merrett and Heppell were typically productive. 

The skipper expected the inclusion of Stringer's big body as an onballer would offer him some relief.

"(It's) super important for me, I think. It will make my role a fair bit easier. (It) might allow me to play a variety of roles: half-back, through the wing, half-forward," Heppell said.  

Defender-turned-forward Cale Hooker would have been disappointed with his conversion, notching 0.3, while Orazio Fantasia booted a couple of early goals.  

Irishman Conor McKenna was electric out of defence and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti was involved in several exciting plays.

Joe Daniher flies for a trademark screamer. Picture: AFL Photos