ADAM Cooney's future at Essendon is up in the air as the Bombers wait for some of its suspended players to confirm whether they will return to the club once their anti-doping bans end.

Cooney has had a better second season with the Bombers after struggling with injuries in 2015, but remains out of contract at the end of this year.

The former Western Bulldogs midfielder, who turns 31 in September, met with Bombers coach John Worsfold recently to chat about next year, but no decision has been reached about whether Cooney plays on.

"I had a discussion with 'Coons' maybe a month ago about his future, but we left that pretty open at that stage," Worsfold said on Wednesday.

"We're in a unique situation in terms of our list management. We've never been in this situation before – no club has.

"So timelines are very hard to get a handle on, and how many players that we need to move off our list at the end of the year to move forward is a real unknown for us."

Cooney has averaged 23 disposals this season after managing just 11 games in his first year at Essendon. However, his disposal by foot has been inconsistent.

Midfielders Jobe Watson, Ben Howlett and Brent Stanton are among the players serving bans who are yet to announce their plans for next year, and Worsfold said their returns could impact the call on Cooney.

"That's one of the factors, absolutely. The No.1 thing is, does Adam Cooney believe he's physically and mentally capable of playing out another season at AFL level?" Worsfold said.

"If that's the case, then he's on our list of what our squad may look like next year."

The Bombers will play Geelong at Eithad Stadium on Sunday in Worsfold's 300th game as an AFL coach.

But plenty of the focus remains on Essendon's group of unsigned players, particularly star defender Michael Hurley, who the Western Bulldogs have confirmed is on their recruiting radar.

It is understood Hurley is seriously weighing up the lure of the Bulldogs, but Worsfold remains optimistic the 26-year-old will be at Essendon next year.

Worsfold questioned Melbourne's active interest in suspended defender Michael Hibberd earlier in the year, but said he understood that clubs would also be pursing Hurley, despite the All Australian being contracted until the end of 2017.

"The Hibberd-Melbourne stuff was just a little bit of an overreaction by me," he said.

"I would expect that it wouldn't just be the Western Bulldogs who are interested in Michael Hurley. If it is just the Bulldogs that's a bonus, but I would expect there's plenty more clubs who would have plenty of interest because he's a star player.

"But I'm really confident that he'll be playing for Essendon."