Essendon coach John Worsfold remains reluctant to put a timeline on Joe Daniher's return as the Bombers prepare for a host of changes before Friday night's date with Greater Western Sydney.
Daniher returned to main training today after a calf strain sustained more than three weeks ago delayed his recovery from ongoing groin troubles.
When quizzed if Daniher would play at all this season – having last played in May 2019 – Worsfold was non-committal.
"That's a good question, I don't know the answer to that because there's so many things you have to take into account in that regard," Worsfold said on Wednesday morning.
"Someone asked me weeks ago if I could guarantee it, I don't know, can you guarantee we'll find a vaccine for COVID-19? There's no guarantees in life.
"He'll be joining more full training this week which we're really pleased to see.
"Once he joins in full training, I would expect he would need a couple of weeks of full training before we would consider next steps."
The Bombers will welcome back Kyle Langford from suspension and Shaun McKernan after being managed in last week's heavy loss to Brisbane.
Worsfold also said he anticipated Conor McKenna would tackle the Giants after being managed last week due to a lack of motivation and instead taking part in a scratch match.
"Conor's been having some areas of motivation that have challenged him with homesickness and things like that," Worsfold said.
"Last week we felt, in consultation with Conor, that he wasn't at his best to be able to play in the senior side.
"It's certainly not for us to decide if Conor's homesick or battling with motivation, that's really for Conor to talk to us about so you could imagine it wasn't us initiating that conversation."
With McKernan to return to a key post in attack, Worsfold guaranteed last week's debutant Sam Draper would play but was unable to confirm Tom Bellchambers would hold his place.
The veteran played mostly as a key forward alongside the returning James Stewart last week as the Bombers managed just three goals despite winning the inside 50 count 42-37.
Having claimed to have not seen a contentious holding the ball free kick paid against Andrew McGrath last week, Worsfold acknowledged the Bombers had sought clarity from the AFL.
"I haven't bothered to spend much time looking at that decision (McGrath's) but we have, as a group, sought some clarity from the umpiring department so that we make sure what we're telling our players is still the right message," he said.
"We're comfortable we've addressed with the AFL things that we need to be aware of and we'll coach our players accordingly."
Worsfold added that he would weigh up playing tagger Dylan Clarke for the first time this season to quell the influence of the Giants' star-studded midfield.