Young gun Jesse Hogan has hurt his knee and could miss Melbourne’s clash with triple reigning AFL premiers Hawthorn in round 20.
Power forward Hogan managed two behinds in the Demons’ two-point win over Gold Coast on Sunday.
Hogan looked restricted for much of the match, with coach Paul Roos confirming the gifted 21-year-old played through pain at the MCG.
“He struggled on. He hit his knee I think when he marked the ball early on,” Roos said.
“I think it’s just a bruise rather than anything else.
“He looked like he was struggling for most of the day and it got the better of him in the last quarter.
“We’ve got a six-day break. It’ll be interesting to see how he comes up.”
Roos praised the commitment of Hogan, who the club is desperate to retain beyond his current contract, which expires after the 2017 season.
“He was actually a pretty effective player for us, more up the ground, but as the game wore on he just couldn’t keep going,” he said.
Roos refused to dwell on his side’s many turnovers against Gold Coast.
“It looks like the theme of the weekend was skill levels really dropped. Teams are tired now, fighting their way through – whether it be the draw, young players or whatever,” he said.
“I watched a lot of footy this weekend and it’s probably been as bad a weekend of football as we’ve seen.
“It’s always an interesting time of year. As a coach you’re trying to remain positive and remind them of the good footy you’ve played.”
Suns coach Rodney Eade conceded his injury-hit side would be tested in the final four rounds, starting with Saturday’s match against in-form Greater Western Sydney.
“You would think in the last four weeks our midfield is going to tire,” Eade said.
“Because we haven’t got a lot of options there.
“One thing that is pleasing is the leadership, character and resilience that they are showing and the toughness to hang in there.”