MELBOURNE recruit Steven May has avoided a club sanction for drinking while injured, with the club revealing the key defender is dealing with some "personal issues".

Sidelined with a groin injury since round two, May was seen spending Sunday afternoon drinking at a Melbourne bar.

The former Gold Coast skipper fronted his teammates on Tuesday morning to explain his actions.

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Demons head of football Josh Mahoney said May shared with them "personal issues" and the frustration of his groin injury, which had led to the consumption of alcohol.

"Steven May has been dealing with some personal issues for a period of time now ... he made a poor decision on the weekend to go to a pub," Mahoney said.

It's not a good look for him and not in line with ... the standards we're trying to set as a footy club. - Josh Mahoney

"He's acknowledged that this is a poor decision that he's made."

The former Gold Coast captain injured his hamstring in February, was suspended in the second JLT Community Series game against Brisbane and then injured his groin in his only AFL appearance this season against Geelong in round two, which has kept him out since then.

Earlier on Tuesday, vice-captain Max Gawn said May would be facing the players to explain his actions.

"We will definitely talk about it (as a leadership group). Not everything is a black and white decision, so there's going to be elements to every story you've got to process, and I'm presuming this will be one," Gawn said on RSN927 on Tuesday morning.

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"We do have a no-drinking-in-rehab rule, so that is a rule. I don't know what's happened, I don't have any details, but take Steven out of it, there is a no-drinking-in-rehab rule. 

"Steven is on the long-term injury list. He's more than six to seven weeks away, he's not actually running at the moment … without getting permission (to drink alcohol) it's a blanket rule.

"Any case will get discussed and is there a punishment at all? Is there more stuff going on in his life? They're all elements we'll talk about, and unfortunately it's just really early in the situation with Steven."

Former Melbourne coach Paul Roos said on Fox Footy on Monday night football was not enough of a priority for May, but Gawn refuted that argument.

"Steven has trained his backside off. I've been really impressed with how he's trained," Gawn said.

"He's still brought a lot to the club because he's played more than 100 games and he's captained a football club (Gold Coast), so he's been an ear I've been leaning on and I'm sure when he gets back he'll be playing some pretty good footy."

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Melbourne gave up pick No.6 in last year's NAB AFL Draft to secure May and former Sun Kade Kolodjashnij, who has managed two matches in his first season at the Demons.

Kolodjashnij has been sidelined indefinitely with concussion.