MELBOURNE ruckman Max Gawn is in doubt for the AFL match against West Coast after suffering a knee injury.
The unbeaten Demons will start hot favourites against the last-placed Eagles at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
But they may head to Perth without captain Gawn, who had scans on Monday after damaging his knee during the Round 8 win over St Kilda.
“I hurt myself in the second quarter in a ruck contest with Paddy Ryder and then played out the game,” Gawn told Nova radio on Monday.
“So it’s not that bad, I managed to play out the game.
“I did sit forward a lot, Luke Jackson did a lot of the ruck work in the second half, but I think I’m OK.”
Young star Jackson is capable of playing the lead ruck role for Melbourne if Gawn is ruled out.
The Demons meet bottom-two sides West Coast and North Melbourne over the next fortnight before a clash with Fremantle, who currently sit second.
They will come up against a depleted Eagles ruck division this week, with Nic Naitanui (knee) and Bailey Williams (hamstring) sidelined.
Second-gamer Callum Jamieson rucked for West Coast in their round eight loss to Brisbane, and the Eagles even turned to defender Tom Barrass at one point.
Jackson is out of contract this year and highly sought, with the Eagles eager to lure the East Fremantle product back to Western Australia as a long-term replacement for Naitanui.
But Melbourne is confident of retaining the 20-year-old’s services.
“He’s a terrific young player,” Demons coach Simon Goodwin said on Sunday.
“We’re really confident with where that (negotiation) sits with him and I’m sure something will be done in the not too distant future.”
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