MELBOURNE star Max Gawn remains in doubt for Sunday's match against Carlton as he struggles to overcome a serious ankle sprain.
Gawn did not train on Thursday but coach Simon Goodwin said the ruckman would try to prove his fitness on Saturday.
"We're going to give him right to the end ... we're certainly not going to risk him because he's such an important player for us," Goodwin said on Thursday.
Goodwin added that Gawn had a significant sprain and the joint remains swollen.
"He's a pro, he wants to win, so he's going to do everything he can," he said.
Goodwin also said on Thursday that defender Jake Lever would return through the VFL this weekend after recovering from his latest knee injury.
Lever came back from a knee reconstruction in the Queen's Birthday loss to Collingwood a month ago, but was sidelined again.
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The Demons are wallowing in 16th as their season from hell continues and they come up against the second-last Blues, who are thriving under interim coach David Teague.
"Two of their last three have been outstanding, they're playing a lot of forward-half footy," Goodwin said.
"They're playing the right way and they've done a great job.
"They're clearly playing with a lot of spirit and energy and they're going to be a really tough battle."
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Goodwin has said repeatedly in the last month that Melbourne are determined to keep trying to salvage something from this season.
He was asked if pride would be on the line against the Blues at the MCG.
"Just playing good footy is on the line - we're forging ahead as a club and we want to keep moving that way," he said.
"We haven't played our best footy, but we know we're capable of it and we think we're close."