MELBOURNE defender Christian Salem visited a specialist on Tuesday after a thyroid problem resurfaced.

The Demons are hopeful the thyroid issue will only be a short-term hurdle and will not take up a large chunk of Salem's season.

The thyroid is a gland in the neck which helps control the body's heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight.

Salem, pick No.9 in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft, first suffered the health issue in his first few months upon arriving at Melbourne. The illness saw the youngster lose six kilograms prior to the 2014 Christmas break.

Donning a club tracksuit, Salem made a brief appearance at training at Gosch's Paddock on Tuesday morning but did not join his teammates out on the track.

The 20-year-old was dropped after the club's loss to the Western Bulldogs in round eight.

Salem gathered 28 disposals in the VFL to be one of the Casey Scorpions' best in the club's seven-point win over the Box Hill Hawks on Saturday night.

The Demons had planned for Salem to play a significant role in the club's backline throughout 2016. 

Melbourne used the pre-season to rebuild the promising youngster so he would be better prepared for his transformation into a full-time small defender this year.

The Demons' strength and conditioning staff worked with him on speed, strength and mobility training to ensure the hamstring troubles that hampered his 2015 season would become a thing of the past. 

Salem has averaged 17 disposals from his seven senior matches so far this season.

More to come