MELBOURNE forward Jesse Hogan is a chance to return for the club's blockbuster clash against Sydney at the MCG on Friday night.

In bad news, Christian Salem will be sidelined for up to a month after hurting his hamstring in the Demons' heart-stopping two-point win over West Coast in Perth.

However, co-captain Jack Viney is a confirmed starter for the game against the Swans despite being restricted by a shoulder complaint in the match against West Coast.

Hogan, 22, has not played since round seven after being diagnosed with testicular cancer and having surgery to remove the growth midway through May.

The powerful forward will be tested through the week, but Demons elite performance manager Dave Misson said Hogan would be given every opportunity to prove his fitness.

Match preview: Melbourne v Sydney

"Jesse's a sneaky chance this week. He’s been going really well with his footy and conditioning work," Misson told

That Hogan has had a disjointed season – he was suspended for two matches and missed a game following the death of his father – has factored in to the club's conservative approach with his return to the field.

The healing of the wound from the surgery was another concern and the Demons have taken every step to ensure he is in the appropriate physical condition.

Misson said the club would take a vigilant approach with Salem's rehabilitation, given he missed nine weeks with a hamstring injury in 2015.

"Christian is probably going to miss three to four [matches]. It's not a serious hamstring, but it's something that we've got to be cautious with, because he's had a couple in the past," Misson said.

Garlett, who hurt his hamstring in the Demons' win over the Eagles and Watts, who missed the game with hamstring tightness, will be assessed throughout the week.

"Jeff's scan was actually really good. Clinically he's very good, so we'll just tick some boxes during the week, as to whether he plays or not," Misson said.

"He (Watts) trained on Monday morning and he ticked the boxes that he needed to, so he’s got some more things that he’s got to get through during the week.

"It’s probably a bit early to tell at this stage of the week, but we’re hopeful."

Co-captain Nathan Jones (quadriceps) remains out for four to five weeks and Angus Brayshaw (concussion) has been listed as out indefinitely.  

Defender Joel Smith, who has recovered from a shoulder injury that required surgery, will return via the VFL this weekend. 

Melbourne injury list: round 15
Angus Brayshaw (concussion) – indefinite
Lochie Filipovic (hip) – 4 weeks
Colin Garland (knee) – season
Jeff Garlett (hamstring) – test
Jesse Hogan (testicular cancer) – test
Nathan Jones (quadriceps) – 4-5 weeks
Pat McKenna (hamstring) – 4-5 weeks
Christian Salem (hamstring) – 3-4 weeks
Joel Smith (shoulder) – available

Clayton Oliver high-fives Jack Trengove. Picture: AFL Photos

Christian Petracca watches on during a goalkicking comp. Picture: AFL Photos

Max Gawn offers encouragement during a goalkicking game. Picture: AFL Photos

Jeff Garlett chats with senior coach Simon Goodwin. Picture: AFL Photos

Tom Bugg and Neville Jetta share a laugh. Picture: AFL Photos

Dean Kent keeps his mind on the job. Picture: AFL Photos

Liam Hulett chats with Jesse Hogan at training. Picture: AFL Photos