Melbourne vice-captain Jack Viney is set for an AFL return as the Demons lose fellow midfielder James Harmes for at least six weeks.
Scans have revealed Harmes suffered a broken wrist in last weekend’s season-opening victory against Fremantle.
“That is disappointing for James, he had a great summer and he has added a fair bit to our midfield,” Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin told reporters on Wednesday.
“But at the same time it brings an opportunity for someone else.”
Viney looms as the likely replacement for Saturday night’s clash against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium with the stalwart recovered from foot injury.
“Jack, we think he has done enough work and we think he’ll play but we will get through (training) this afternoon and see where it sits,” Goodwin said.
But the Demons coach said the returns of fellow veterans Jake Melksham (hamstring) and Michael Hibberd (ankle) were less likely, despite both being cleared of injury and available for selection.
“There’s no rush,” Goodwin said.
“We think we have got depth in our list, we have got some young guys who are playing good footy.
“It’s a good position for out footy club to be in, it has been a while since we have been in that position and that is something we like – the younger guys who have come in have taken their opportunity.
“We feel like we have got good balance through our team but it’s meant guys who are in the team have to perform at a really high level.
“So obviously Viney is potentially a change this week, he’s our vice-captain, he brings a lot to our team … and he’s raring to go.
“But the others will probably have to wait a little while.”
Key forward Sam Weideman (leg) and former North Melbourne spearhead Ben Brown (knee) will miss at least another three matches.