Injuries hurt Bombers' AFL finals push

Essendon's push for an AFL finals berth already looked like mission impossible.

But four injuries out of Friday night's 43-point win over St Kilda adds more difficulty to their unlikely late-season tilt at the top eight.

Brendon Goddard (knee), Adam Saad (concussion), Cale Hooker (knee) and Orazio Fantasia (hamstring) are in varying degrees of doubt for next Friday night's clash with top side Richmond at the MCG.

The Bombers remain a game plus percentage outside the top eight, with the Tigers and then an away match against Port Adelaide to come.

Essendon must win those two games - beating Richmond in particular would be a major upset - and then rely on other results going their way to make the finals.

"The motivating factor is taking on Richmond next week and playing well (on Friday) against the Saints and continuing to learn and build," coach John Worsfold said.

"That's absolutely been our focus.

"But if you said do players have a desire to play finals? Well, that's a given."

Worsfold said they need to find out why Goddard left the game early in the first quarter with pain in his left knee.

Saad was knocked out later in the opening quarter by an ugly bump that is sure to earn Saints defender Nathan Brown a suspension.

Hooker hurt his knee in the third quarter, but Worsfold said the tall utility is confident he will be right for the Tigers.

An added problem for Hooker is that he will come under video scrutiny for his swinging arm that collected Daniel McKenzie in the third term.

Fantasia was taken out of the game because of hamstring tightness.

"It was maybe precautionary, I'm not sure - there might be something there," Worsfold said.

The injury problems meant Essendon had no interchange rotations for the last quarter and Worsfold was rapt with how his players handled the problem.

It came five days after GWS faced the same problem at the same ground.

"The players were wonderful, the way they understood what they had to do," Worsfold said.

The Bombers coach was also impressed with how the players did not let Saad's concussion shake their focus.

"The group's really maturing and learning a lot about how we can not let those things affect the game, when the game is going," he said.

"Of course, you want to fly the flag for your teammate and show that support ... but once the game's going we want to play the style of footy we're working on, regardless of circumstances."