Melbourne hope key defender Colin Garland can recover from ankle surgery in time for the start of the AFL season in March.
Garland, who was runner-up in the Demons’ best-and-fairest award in 2013, is set to miss four to six weeks.
“Colin has a small bone spur on his ankle, which has flared up as training intensity has increased recently,” football manager Josh Mahoney told melbournefc.com.au on Friday.
“It was deemed that the best course of action was to have this shaved in a minor operation.
“By having this operation now, it will allow Colin enough time to recover before the start of the season and prevent the potential of it disrupting his season.”
Garland, 25, has missed one game in the past two seasons.
Key forward Mitch Clark remains on the injury list with a foot complaint. Chris Dawes, Jesse Hogan, Mark Jamar, Luke Tapscott, Max Gawn, Matt Jones and Jack Fitzpatrick trained in the rehabilitation group earlier this week.
Young gun midfielder Jack Viney is also nursing a foot complaint.