Star Essendon midfielder Zach Merrett has sprained an ankle and will miss a chunk of AFL preseason training.
Merrett's injured ankle in will be in a protective boot for the next two weeks after a mishap during competitive drills at training on Friday.
"We expect a clearer picture on his return to training once swelling in the affected ankle subsides ... we don't anticipate the injury will impact Zach's availability for the commencement of the season," Essendon's football manager Dan Richardson said in a statement.
Essendon open their campaign against Greater Western Sydney on March 24.
The 23-year-old finished third in the club's best and fairest in 2018 after playing every game and averaging 27 disposals.
Australian Associated Press