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Gawn cut down

Max Gawn of the Demons in action during the AFL Round 20 match between the Carlton Blues and the Melbourne Demons at the MCG, Melbourne.
Max Gawn has been moved to Melbourne's long-term injury list

MELBOURNE ruckman Max Gawn has again been relegated to the long-term injury list after sustaining a hamstring injury during pre-season training. 

The 208cm ruckman will be forced to stay on the LTI list for a minimum of eight weeks, finishing on March 22, just a week before the Demons' round one clash with Port Adelaide on March 31.

The move gives the Demons the flexibility to promote a rookie if necessary, while not discounting Gawn's chances of returning before the start of the season, although that appears unlikely.

James Magner seems the obvious candidate to replace Gawn, while Thomas Couch, Mitch Clisby and Nathan Stark are also in the running.

A list replacement is yet to been named with Demons football manager Josh Mahoney saying the club expects Gawn to be available early in the season.

"This timeframe is consistent with his rehabilitation plan, and he is progressing well. We expect Max to return to playing football early in the season," Mahoney told melbournefc.com.au.

Gawn missed the entire 2012 season after tearing his ACL and meniscus in his right knee in December 2011.

He had previously torn his ACL during his junior career, before being picked up by Melbourne with pick No.34 in the 2009 NAB AFL Draft.

 Gawn made his debut against Essendon in round 11 of the 2011 season, playing three more matches for the year. 

 Gawn is the second-tallest ruckman in the League behind Fremantle's Aaron Sandilands (211 cm).

 Ben Guthrie is a reporter for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter - @AFL_BenGuthrie

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs