Essendon coach John Worsfold says he’s “conscious” of playing an underdone Conor McKenna in Friday night's clash against Collingwood at the MCG.
The 24-year-old has only just been released from self-isolation after he tested positive to COVID-19 on June 20.
He has since returned multiple negative tests but has spent a considerable amount of time away from the club and was unavailable for selection in Round 4.
Speaking on Wednesday, Worsfold said he was wary of playing McKenna considering the amount of soft-tissue players are picking up right now.
“I’m not leaning towards (whether to play him or not) but I’m certainly conscious of it,” Worsfold told reporters.
“We’ve seen a number of soft tissue injuries in the last couple of rounds including some more collision injuries as well which is often the sign of players haven’t had the amount of time to prep themselves for the nature of our game.
“I’m very conscious of rushing a player in and then losing them for three or four weeks.”
Worsfold confirmed the club would look to make a decision on McKenna after training on Wednesday.
“He feels great, he feels fresh and he’s got no bruises,” he said.
“The risk versus the reward of playing after the period of time he’s just had and what he’s been able to do and what he can do in the next few days versus just giving him a hitout … we’re weighing that up at the moment.
“We’ll have a look at how he trains today, there’s definitely a risk versus reward there we have to weight up.
“He actually got in during the evening the other night and got to do a run around on his own, he’s already had one run and steps it up today.”