Essendon hope to have best-and-fairest winner Peter Wright playing in their AFL preseason games after the key forward hurt his calf at training.
As the Bombers work on their glaring defensive problems under new coach Brad Scott, No. 5 draft pick Elijah Tsatas will definitely miss the start of the season after last month's knee surgery.
Jake Stringer was also on light duties during Thursday morning's training session at Tullamarine, but Essendon say that was planned for the star forward.
Gold Coast will host Essendon on February 23 in a match simulation session before the Bombers play St Kilda in a March 3 preseason match at Moorabbin.
"He went off the scan and I think it came back all-clear," teammate Mason Redman said of Wright.
"If we can get them out there for those practice games it will be huge because he's massive for our structure. But having a chat to him this morning it seems like he's going really well."
Redman brushed off vision of his clash with Stringer during a training session last month.
"All the boys are competitive. That's why we're here," Redman said.
"Once you get into a match sim (simulation), everyone's competitive nature gets going and there are some clashes out there.
"It was just a nice cuddle for us. Five minutes later, we were having a chat and it was all good."
No decision has been made on the Essendon captaincy, with Redman saying Scott wants to see how preseason training progresses.
There is some speculation about whether Dyson Heppell will continue in the role.
"If it came around and they thought I was the right man for the job, 100 per cent I would throw my hand up," Redman said.
"The way I look at it, Dyson is still our captain.
"I get the sense he'd want to lead the club again."
Redman said chasing and defensive pressure had been key themes through the pre-season after last year's disaster season.
The Bombers crash-dived out of the top eight to 15th and coach Ben Rutten eventually was sacked in a chaotic postseason.
"Brad's been big on pressure and chase pressure, that sort of thing," Redman said.
"If we can bring that from a midfield and forward point of view, it can give us a lot of good stability behind the ball.
"Defence wins premierships. It's something we've struggled at ... it's been a big focus for us.
"It's been clear if you look at the stats that we've really struggled at stopping the opposition from transitioning the ball for a number of years now. It's been a big focus of ours over this pre-season."