ESSENDON coach John Worsfold says nursing his undermanned team through the second half of 2016 is going to be one of the biggest challenges of his coaching career.

Worsfold was speaking after Essendon's 108-point loss to Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium on Friday night, its worst defeat of a season that was always going to be trying after 12 of its best players were suspended for 2016 by WADA in January.

The loss to the Hawks came on the back of a 79-point thumping from the previously winless Fremantle last round, and was the Dons' sixth loss by 10 goals or more across the first 12 rounds, their only win coming in round two over Melbourne.

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Worsfold coached West Coast through the early-2000s, an era that has since been revealed as having contained a damaging culture, with a large number of Eagles players taking illicit drugs.

Nonetheless, the now-Essendon coach told reporters on Friday night that guiding the Bombers through the second half of this season – when he fully expects there will be more big losses – would be among the biggest challenges he's faced.

"This is going to be one of the most challenging situations, I've got no doubt, that I'll ever find myself in," Worsfold said.

"But I'm pretty focused on what we're trying to do and where we're trying to take this club.

"This year is going to be very, very tough, but we know a lot of what we're going to do corrects itself very quickly at some point in time.

"It's not like we have to gradually rebuild everything over a number of years and that's the positive, but we've got to make sure that we do set some good things in place now this year."

Essendon's efforts to finish 2016 strongly have been hampered by injuries, many of them to experienced players that the club had been hoping could reduce the workload on its youngsters.

Vice-captain Mark Baguley is out indefinitely with a knee injury, while top-up players Ryan Crowley (hamstring), Jonathan Simpkin (hamstring) and Nathan Grima (hip) all face at least another few weeks on the sidelines.

Asked whether there was the danger Essendon could run out of 'soldiers', Worsfold said the club was doing its best to manage its playing list, but was dealing with unprecedented circumstances.

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"This is unchartered territory for us, I don't what the answer is," Worsfold said.

"I've never seen it before. I've never been involved in anything like it before so we've got to try and make decisions around that. 

"We're just going to have to keep rotating players through, I think, and rest guys where we can."

Essendon rested Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti from the Hawks game after the first-year defender emerged as one of the finds of the season over the first 11 rounds, but Worsfold said he would return against Greater Western Sydney next Sunday.

There was more good news for the Bombers earlier on Friday with the WADA-suspended Tom Bellchambers and youngster Kyle Langford re-signing until the end of 2018.

Bellchambers is the sixth of the suspended Bombers to recommit to the club beyond this season, joining Heath Hocking, Travis Colyer, Cale Hooker, David Myers and Dyson Heppell.

"(I'm) really pleased for Tommy. He's moving pretty well and from all accounts he's feeling fresh and obviously by recommitting he's excited about next year and the next few years, so it's great news for the footy club," Worsfold said.

There are still positives the Bombers can take from their youngsters. Picture: AFL Media