Essendon is looking long-term with star key forward Joe Daniher, meaning he may not be ready for Round 1, 2019.
Daniher has been dealing with osteitis pubis since the first month of the 2018 season and coach John Worsfold said the club would rather aim to prepare him for the rest of his career than rush him to be ready for the start of the season.
"Joey's working really hard. That (osteitis pubis) injury can be a chronic, crippling injury so our number one priority is that it doesn't linger and affect multiple seasons for Joey," Worsfold said at Essendon's annual general meeting.
"He's still coming into his prime years, so if the sake of him absolutely getting over this injury means it actually takes a little bit longer than him being absolutely ready for round one, then we'll do that."
Daniher is expected to return to full training after the Christmas break.
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