ESSENDON remains confident its trio of injured stars will be fit to tackle Sydney next Saturday despite only one taking to the training track on Friday morning.
Michael Hurley (calf), Cale Hooker (leg) and Orazio Fantasia (hamstring) remain under injury clouds for the club's elimination final with the Swans but the Bombers say they are all progressing well with their recoveries.
Fantasia was the only one of the trio out on the track on Friday morning and was on light running duties away from the main playing group.
Hurley was off-site for an appointment and will instead train on Saturday, while the Bombers are still taking a cautious approach with Hooker, who looms as the biggest concern.
"Cale, we'll take it pretty easy with him," Essendon football manager Rob Kerr said on Friday morning.
"His issue is we just want to manage the load and give him plenty of rest and give him the best opportunity. Things are progressing well, we're happy with that, but we're pretty conservative in the approach."
Kerr said Hurley was "progressing on-track" and had increased his running this week, while Fantasia lifted his running on Friday morning and had "no more soreness in that hamstring".
Kerr said the club expected all three would take on the Swans next Saturday.
"We remain hopeful all three will be right to go," Kerr said.
"Next Wednesday will be the day where they'll be assessed but we're pretty optimistic.
"You draw a little bit of inspiration from what the Bulldogs did last year and we've got great confidence in the medical team and the strength and conditioning boys in making sure the preparation's spot-on. Next week will just be about getting the touch right for those players."
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