MELBOURNE has booked emerging defender Joel Smith in for shoulder surgery on Tuesday, with the Demons expecting him to be sidelined for up to four months.
The Demons also confirmed that spearhead Jesse Hogan was on crutches at the club on Monday after rolling his ankle against St Kilda but they insist he will be fully fit to face Carlton at the MCG on Sunday.
Smith dislocated his left shoulder in the first quarter of his debut match in the Demons' 30-point win over St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
After learning the results of scans over the weekend, Demons football manager Josh Mahoney said the club opted to put the 21-year-old in for surgery given he was only at the beginning of his career.
"After consulting specialists and our own medical team we've decided Joel will go in for an operation to reconstruct the shoulder," Mahoney told AFL.com.au.
"We took this course of action as Joel is a young player and we wanted to ensure his long-term shoulder strength remained a priority.
"We expect Joel's recovery from surgery to be between three and four months."
Mahoney said the Demons have high hopes for Smith's future prospects, pointing to how he held up strongly in defence during the Saints' first-quarter barrage.
"This is disappointing for Joel who had earned his debut on the weekend and had made a bright start to the game in the first 20 minutes," Mahoney said.
Mahoney said Hogan was in no danger of missing this weekend's match against Carlton.
The star forward was one of Melbourne's best players against the Saints, kicking three goals, racking up 21 disposals and taking eight marks.
"There's nothing in that. He'll train fully this week and will play against Carlton," Mahoney said.
Ruckman Max Gawn will also be right to face the Blues. His strained back, which required treatment during the clash against the Saints, will not impact him any further.
The Demons may have to make another change this week with defender Bernie Vince offered a one-match ban for striking St Kilda's Nathan Wright.
Midfielder Dom Tyson was excellent for Casey in a VFL practice match against Williamstown, picking up 24 disposals, 16 inside 50s and two goals and appears to be at the front of the queue at the selection table.
Creative half-forward Dean Kent (20 disposals) will also come into consideration, as will Josh Wagner, returning from a fractured fibula, as the Demons could look to replace Smith with a similarly versatile defender.