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Demon draftee escapes serious injury after training mishap

MELBOURNE draftee Alex Neal-Bullen has escaped serious knee damage after he was injured in a tackling drill at training on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old, who was selected by the Demons at pick No.40 in last month’s NAB AFL Draft, dislocated his patella during the drill and was sent for scans on Friday to determine the extent of the damage.

The scans showed Neal-Bullen had escaped serious injury and the club expects the young midfielder to re-join his teammates at training when they return on January 5.

"Scans today (Friday) showed that there was no serious damage and Alex is due to return to training when all our players return at the beginning of the new year," Demons football manager Josh Mahoney told AFL.com.au.

'Mental and physical shock' for first-year Demons

Neal-Bullen - whose right knee was stabilised in a brace - was an interested onlooker at the club's open training session at Gosch's Paddock on Friday.

The Glenelg product was regarded as a likely top-30 pick leading into the draft and Melbourne was pleased to land Neal-Bullen alongside childhood friend Billy Stretch, who was taken at pick No.42 as a father-son recruit.

Neal-Bullen has made a positive start to his first pre-season at Melbourne and it is expected he will receive senior opportunities in 2015.