Melbourne have been dealt a blow with classy youngster Christian Salem ruled out for up to a month with a hamstring injury.
Salem, 19, suffered the injury during Saturday’s 105-point drubbing at the hands of Hawthorn and was subbed out of the game.
“Christian had a scan after the game and it was a reasonable hamstring injury, but we’re hoping it’s just going to be three to four weeks,” performance manager David Misson told the club’s website.
Salem, taken ninth overall at the 2013 national draft, joins a lengthy injury list that has been a factor in the Demons’ 2-5 start to the season.
Paul Roos’ side will be attempting to snap a three-game losing run when they take on the Western Bulldogs at the MCG on Sunday.
Gun youngster Jesse Hogan was a late withdrawal against the Hawks with general soreness, but Misson said that he was likely to return this week.
Versatile tall Jack Fitzpatrick is also in contention for an AFL recall after a neck scare in the VFL last week.
“He just had a reasonable sort of incident and had some neck symptoms when he came off the ground,” Misson said.
“As a precaution the doctor sent him up to The Alfred. He’s had a whole heap of tests done and thankfully they’ve all come back good for Jack.
“There’s no real structural damage.”
Tough nut Jack Viney has been missing since round two after suffering a broken leg against Greater Western Sydney, but is a week away from making his return.