Essendon coach John Worsfold says Joe Daniher is a “fair way off” returning to full fitness.
“When I look at what Joe's doing at the moment, it's not enough to say he'll be ready for Round 2,” Worsfold told reporters on Tuesday.
"He's obviously a fair way off what we would say is the intensity to be ready to play, so we'll just keep progressing him up and that will take care of itself.”
Joe Daniher’s long-awaited return to football looks some way off.
Daniher still hasn’t returned to full training as Essendon continue to sweat over his persistent groin problems with his contract set to expire at season’s end.
Bombers great Tim Watson was told Daniher is “80 per cent” ready to resume training but remains “really concerned” about the forward’s injury plight.
“I wouldn’t say grave concerns, I’ve got real concerns though having watched them return to training yesterday and then understand that he is still at what I was told last night around 80 per cent,” Watson told SEN Breakfast.
“Now I think that’s probably being a bit generous. He’s 80 per cent ready to get back to full training … I think they are being really optimistic, but we’ve been hearing this for a long time about how close Joe is to resuming full training.
“He missed the start of the season; he’s had an interrupted pre-season so he hasn’t been able to involve himself in any full training, you have another almost seven weeks off and he’s still at that point where he can’t join in full training.
“You’ve got to start to get really concerned about his ability to be able to get over whatever this injury is, this groin-related injury. It’s got to be a major concern.
“He desperately wants to come back and play. I don’t think he’s going to play a lot of footy this year but I think he will play this year."
North Melbourne great Wayne Carey is worried we might not see Daniher at all in 2020.
“Sad news for the Bombers and also for Joe (Daniher),” Carey told Channel Seven’s Talking Footy.
“You could almost argue that he’s not going to play much this year I wouldn’t have thought.”
Daniher, 26, has played just 11 games in two seasons due to ongoing groin issues.