Captain Taylor Walker still has a chance of making the Adelaide Crows' round one clash with Essendon, despite straining a tendon in his foot.
Last year's beaten AFL Grand Finalists have learned they'll definitely be without Walker for the AFLX tournament and the pre-season JLT Community Series.
He's in a moon boot due to a plantar fascia injury which will hamper his training for the next two weeks.
The Crows say Walkers is expected to make a full recovery in five to six weeks. Given that the clash with the Dons is on 23rd March he will be touch and go for the season-opener.
Adelaide general manager of high performance Matt Hass said Walker had had some soreness last week in his foot.
"After further assessment the strain was revealed," he added. "Fortunately, the injury doesn't require surgery and he will make a full recovery after a period of rest.
"He will not take part in AFLX or the JLT Community Series, but is focused on being available for round one."
Meanwhile, Essendon will be without speedster Travis Colyer for the first six rounds due to injury.
Colyer had surgery on Wednesday after the strategy he and the club had originally used when he went down with an inflamed sesamoid bone in his right foot failed to pay off.
The 26-year-old was pulled out of training about three weeks ago and put in a moon boot, which the Bombers hoped would be enough.
High performance manager Justin Crow said the injury hadn't responded to conservative management, and he'd in the end needed to go under the knife.
"Once Travis is reviewed by the surgeon, his recovery timeframe will become clearer, however typically we would expect him to be unavailable to play for a period of 12 weeks," added Crow.
Essendon are 250/1 to win the Grand Final, while the Bombers are 5000/1 to finish in the top four.
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