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Ankle injury sidelines hard-working Demon for a month

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 6: Aaron vandenBerg of the Demons in action during the 2016 NAB Challenge match between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons at Highgate Recreational Reserve, Craigieburn on March 6, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
The Dees have put a line through Aaron vandenBerg's name for the next month

MELBOURNE midfielder Aaron vandenBerg will be sidelined for at least a month following ongoing issues with an ankle injury.

VandenBerg first injured his left ankle in pre-season training, before aggravating it again in Melbourne's second NAB Challenge match against the Western Bulldogs at Craigieburn.

The powerful onballer stood on teammate Dom Tyson's foot as he contested a boundary throw-in and missed last week's match against Collingwood due to soreness.

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Demons high performance manager Dave Misson said the club had opted to give vandenBerg's ankle time to rest and heal.

"We've taken the approach that we just need to offload him for a couple of weeks and then reload him and get him back to playing. He’s probably looking at a month at least," Misson told the club's website. 

"He's still not running at the moment and he'll start running next week. His ankle actually feels pretty good, so we don’t expect it to be too long, but we want to give him the chance to come back and have a good finish to the season."

Small forward Jeff Garlett faces a fitness test in the lead up to Sunday night's clash with Richmond at the MCG.

Garlett suffered a high ankle sprain at training on April 6 and has missed the past two matches with the injury. 

Misson said Garlett was no certainty to play and much would depend on how he recovered from a strong training session on Wednesday.

"Jeff actually ran really well today (Wednesday) and did some good agility work … [but] we’ll have to see how he pulls up tomorrow (Thursday), as to whether we put him out to train on Friday,” Misson said.  

"He's definitely looking better than he did last week, but he’s still not over the line."

Speedy forward Jay Kennedy-Harris' return date has been set back further following a hamstring injury, with Melbourne now expecting him back in late May or early June. 

"He’s done a couple of running sessions already and is feeling really good," Misson said. 

"Because of that tendon involvement there and the injury – he’s probably five or six weeks away." 

The Demons have decided to play it safe with developing defender Oscar McDonald, ruling him out of this week's VFL game against Williamstown on Saturday night. 

McDonald suffered a concussion in the opening minutes of Casey's showdown with Collingwood last Sunday.

"He’s probably just going to be a couple of days short, so Oscar will miss this week and look to be a test the next week," Misson said.

"We’d expect him to play next week."

Ruckman Jake Spencer (plantar fasciitis) is nearing a return to the field while first-year big man Mitch King had his season-ending knee surgery on Tuesday.