JORDIE McKenzie is taking a cautious approach following concussion and won't rush his return to the football field.
The Terang Mortlake assistant coach suffered a head knock in a pre-season clash and is still managing symptoms.
He also injured his ankle in the incident and will have scans next week.
McKenzie, 28, said he'd had numerous concussions throughout his career and wanted to play it safe.
"I won't even guess a figure - a few too many anyway," he said.
"That's why I started to wear the helmet last year. I have got to be a bit careful.
"I see a doctor down here in Melbourne and they're very clear that you have to be full-symptom free (before you play).
"I have come back from a lot of them in the past, so hopefully I can put this one to bed too and get back into it but you've just got to make sure everything is tip-top because you can't be messing with the brain too much."
McKenzie, who played 79 AFL matches for Melbourne over seven seasons, said he was battling a left ankle complaint too.
"I am not really sure how it happened to be honest because I was concussed at the time," he said.
"When I came to it was pretty sore. It must have somehow got twisted while I hit the deck.
"I don't think it's anything too nasty but it's kept me out for a few weeks and I will find out a bit more soon.
"It hasn't improved the way I would've expected it to. It's been close to three weeks now so I will find out a bit more on Monday."
The Melbourne-based McKenzie, who is hopeful of returning in coming weeks, has remained heavily involved at Terang Mortlake.
The 186-centimetre midfielder returned to the south-west on Friday night after a finance exam at Monash University.
McKenzie, who is also working part-time as a teachers' aide, will work alongside Bloods coach Michael Sargeant as they strive to knock over Warrnambool at D.C Farran Oval on Saturday.
The Bloods are searching for their first win after falling to 2018 grand finalist Camperdown in round one.
"I would love to be playing but it's good to still be involved," he said.
"It is a good challenge. I reckon we match up reasonably well against Warrnambool.
"They've got a couple of handy recruits in Darren Ewing and Trav Graham up forward.
"In saying that, down back we've got some good match-ups and we have a good solid unit down there too."
Warrnambool coach Matt O'Brien said the Blues, who are coming off a 134-point thumping of Cobden, were wary of the Bloods after close encounters last season.
"Terang are always hard at the ball and pride themselves on the contested footy," he said.
The Blues have welcomed back Greater Western Victoria Rebels-listed teenager Mitch Burgess for the round two clash.
Burgess comes in at emerging forward Harry Ryan's expense.
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