Essendon's Stringer could return for Swans

Melissa Woods
Essendon's Jake Stringe could be back to face Sydney at Etihad Stadium next Friday night

Essendon's unlikely AFL finals push is set to get a boost with the early return of star forward Jake Stringer from a calf injury.

Stringer was expected to be sidelined for a month after suffering the injury in their round 16 loss to Collingwood but coach John Worsfold says the All Australian could be back to face Sydney at Etihad Stadium next Friday night.

His return is timely, with Shaun McKernan going down with a hamstring injury in the second quarter of the Bombers' 29-point win over Fremantle.

He was sent for scans and looks likely for a long stint on the sidelines.

"Jake Stringer is possibly available next week," Essendon coach John Worsfold said.

"He will only come in if he's fit ... he's still got to tick boxes to play but if you ask him he should have played today, he's feeling that good.

"He will be pushing pretty hard to be available."

Sitting in a jammed ladder just outside the eight, the Bombers need to win just about every game to make the play-offs.

Worsfold said they wouldn't rush Stringer or young forward Joe Daniher, who is battling osteitis pubis, back just because of their table position.

"We've got a very strict program that Joes following and it's not influenced by anything but what the program says," Worsfold said.