Melbourne suffered a blow ahead of Sunday’s AFL match against Geelong with young star Jesse Hogan ruled out with hamstring soreness.
Hogan, 20, was looking to build on a career-best haul of five goals against St Kilda last week but was withdrawn on Friday from the selected squad.
“Jesse had some soreness in his hamstring in last week’s game and did well to get through the game, playing with that,” football manager Josh Mahoney told the club’s website.
“Unfortunately, it hasn’t recovered this week and, given we’ve got the bye next week, we made the decision to give him every chance to recover from this and prepare for the second half of the year.”
Hogan’s departure from the side that lost a thriller to the Saints is one of four changes made by coach Paul Roos.
Chris Dawes, Jake Spencer, Rohan Bail and Matt Jones were included, while Jack Grimes (hand), Viv Michie (omitted) and Cameron Pedersen (hand) drop out with Hogan.
The Cats will be without James Kelly (ankle) and Rhys Stanley (foot) for the clash that also marks Corey Enright’s 300-game milestone.
Youngsters Jake Kolodjashnij and Michael Luxford have been brought into the side for the encounter at Simonds Stadium.