Max Gawn receives medical attention during the match between Melbourne and West Coast at the MCG in round 17, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE captain Max Gawn has been ruled out for at least a fortnight after scans confirmed the extent of his ankle injury.

Gawn suffered the injury in the last minute of the second quarter when his foot collided with Harley Reid's leg as the Demons ruckman attempted a kick out of a centre-bounce stoppage.

He struggled through the second half of the Demons' 54-point win over West Coast on Sunday and was substituted out of the game in the last quarter.

After receiving the results of Gawn's scans on Monday, the Dees ruled the ruckman out for 2-3 weeks.

"Scans have today shown that Max has sustained a chip to the base of his right fibula," Demons general manager of AFL performance Alan Richardson said.

"While this is disappointing news for Max, fortunately he won't require surgery.


"Max is the ultimate professional and leader and we know he'll attack his rehab and continue to play a pivotal role in our group over the next few weeks, albeit from the sidelines.

"While Max is the calibre of player that can't be replaced easily, it provides an exciting opportunity for others to come in and play their role in our side."

Speaking earlier on Monday, Gawn said he had pulled up sore from the win over the Eagles.

"It's pretty sore, I must admit. I woke up very sore. Obviously played the second half in a bit of distress," he said, while on crutches and wearing a moonboot on his right foot.


"At this stage, I'm thinking that (I will miss), just because of how sore it is, but I've seen some stuff that the human body can do and it can certainly turn around pretty quickly.

"I'm always looking quite optimistic at these things. I don't exactly know what it really is yet so we're waiting for a bit of information, I'm sure we'll get it to you this afternoon. I'd say it's more of a short-term thing – I'm hoping – but it is pretty sore."

The Demons are short of experienced ruck options. Former Brisbane ruck/forward Tom Fullarton was an emergency for the game against West Coast and is the likely option to come in, while young talls Will Verrall and Kyah Farris-White are still developing their craft at VFL level. 

Jacob van Rooyen has been supporting Gawn as the Demons' relief ruck throughout the season and could shoulder a great share of the workload against Essendon, given Fullarton's ability up forward. Veteran defender Tom McDonald has also rucked in the past and could add some support.