Essendon doctor Bruce Reid has revealed three Bombers players have resumed full training over the past week.
Courtenay Dempsey, David Myers and Will Hams have recovered from their respective injuries and are back in full training with the wider playing list.
“Courtenay was in full training today so if they wanted to play him this week, he would be available,” Reid said.
“Myersy has been back in for a week or so now and so has Hamsy so the three of them really aren’t on the rehab or injured list at all.”
Reid said the club remained hopeful that midfield star Dyson Heppell would be in line to be available for a Round 1 selection.
“We are hopeful for Dyson but like anyone who has had an arthroscopy, there may be a slight doubt,” Reid said.
“But he’s started running today and he is pain free, so he’s definitely on track but we will have a pretty good answer on that by next week.”
Reid ruled out Heath Hocking and Nick Kommer for Round 1, but revealed Tayte Pears was making pleasing progress with his recovery.
“They’re the three that will be in doubt for the start of the season. Heath will almost definitely not be up for the first game,” Reid said.
“Nick is now out running so that’s a real positive. He’s made a good leap forward over the last two weeks.
“Of the three, Tayte Pears is doing very well so we’d expect him to be joining in some of the drills by the end of this week.”