MELBOURNE midfielder Billy Stretch has had surgery on his injured toe, with the Demons hoping to have him up and running in pre-season prior to the Christmas break. 

Meanwhile, veteran Bernie Vince is a chance to be available for next weekend – even if it is in the VFL – and has made strong progress in his recovery from an AC joint injury.

Stretch had already been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a stress fracture in his small toe following the game against Fremantle in round 16.

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"Bill actually got a couple of surgical opinions on that toe. Initially, we were going to go down that conservative management line, but Billy's actually having surgery today (Tuesday) to repair that injury," Misson said.

"We felt that was the best option, as did Billy. We're hoping the surgery goes well and we're looking to get him going pre-Christmas."

Vince, 32, who announced he will retire at season's end, injured his shoulder in the VFL in early August, with the initial impression being that he would miss the rest of the season following surgery.

But Vince has rebounded quickly and trained strongly in the rehab group on Tuesday, putting him in line to return next week should the Demons progress in the finals. 

Melbourne's VFL affiliate Casey has already booked its preliminary final berth with a thumping win over Geelong last weekend, so that is also an option. 

"He's going really well and he saw his surgeon yesterday (Monday), who pretty much gave him the green light to potentially play next weekend, possibly in the VFL, but depending on how things go," Misson said.

"Bernie's wanting to be really aggressive with his rehab and return to play, so we'll see how that goes from session to session." 

As reported by on Tuesday, midfielder Dom Tyson will have to get through a fitness test on Thursday to be cleared to play against Geelong on Friday night.