ESSENDON ruckman Tom Bellchambers is in a race against time to overcome an ankle injury and make the trip to face Sydney on Friday night.
Bellchambers failed to train with the main group during Tuesday morning's light session, instead running gingerly under the watchful eye of the Bombers' medical staff.
The doubt on his availability comes as young ruckman Sam Draper was given the news he needs a knee reconstruction after tearing his ACL in Sunday's VFL curtain-raiser.
Despite John Worsfold admitting he was "confident" the 29-year-old big man would be fit to play, the five-day break is expected to reduce Bellchambers' chances.
Disappointing news.— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) May 7, 2019
We're with you every step of the way, @SamDraper38.
He came from the field during the Bombers' 32-point loss to Geelong on Sunday to have his ankle assessed, before finishing the match on the ground.
Back-up big man Zac Clarke, who has sat out the past three weeks with a calf issue, has been given the green light to play and would be the logical replacement should Bellchambers miss.
Draper's injury will now open up a spot for the Bombers at the May 27 Mid-Season Rookie Draft, with a replacement ruckman to be strongly considered.
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Worsfold confirmed a rested David Myers would return against the Swans, with speedster Orazio Fantasia to play after missing as a late withdrawal in the past two matches.
"He's feeling good," Worsfold said.
"He said he had his first really good sleep on Saturday night for a week and that's got him feeling good now."
Midfielder Andy McGrath, who headed for a scan on a jarred knee on Monday, trained with the main group and is expected to play at the SCG.
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From the side that lost to Geelong, David Zaharakis and Joe Daniher were notable absentees on the track at Tullamarine.
Worsfold wouldn't be drawn on whether the experiment of using Aaron Francis would extend into a second week against the Swans, with James Stewart still at least one week from returning.
"We'll talk through that (at selection) this afternoon," Worsfold said.
"Aaron's got the potential to be a good forward, but we also know long-term he's going to be a very, very good backman as well. For our current situation we'll assess all those options."
Worsfold said he would continue to back-in Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti to contribute to the team despite a massive difference in output between wins and losses.
In the past five wins, the forward has booted 20 goals and been held goalless in the past five losses.
"For 'Walla', the message is to keep playing your role, he understands what it is," Worsfold said.
"(We say) you're going to have games against Collingwood and Geelong, games that are played against top teams at finals intensity where it's tight, there's not a lot of space and it comes down to a tough, tight contest.
"How well we perform when there's no space to work in is what we want to keep building on.
"It's just understanding that his value to the team might be getting one shot at goal, setting up one, laying a few tackles in these really big games.
"If you look at the big finals, it's rare that small forwards kick big bags of goals, they've got a job to do. We don't think we need Walla to kick bags of goals every week."