Main content

Two Demons ruled out of season opener against Port

Aaron vandenBerg will miss Melbourne's round one clash against Port Adelaide - AFL,Injuries,Melbourne Demons,Aaron vandenBerg
Aaron vandenBerg will miss Melbourne's round one clash against Port Adelaide

MELBOURNE will be without Aaron vandenBerg and Joel Smith for Saturday's clash against Port Adelaide, with both players ruled out for the opening few weeks of the season due to injury.

A flare-up of vandenBerg's ankle problem could see the tough on-baller miss up to a month as he manages the injury. 

Smith, meanwhile, could be sidelined for up to six weeks after a groin injury, which he played through in the club's final JLT Community Series against Brisbane to assist with rotations, worsened.

FULL INJURY LIST Who's racing the clock for round one?

Asked whether the injury was mismanaged by the club's medical staff, Goodwin was quick to deflect any blame for allowing Smith to return to the field after the Demons went two men down on the bench.

"Joel had acute awareness of his groin. It certainly wasn't going to change the outcome (of the diagnosis) so in the end we just need to get it settled for a couple of weeks and then re-load him," Goodwin said.

"We certainly respect groin injuries and the load around that so that's what we're going to do as a club."

 

Elite performance manager Dave Misson said Smith could turn the corner quickly in regard to his recovery, but until then the club would take a wait and see approach. 

"We're not putting a time frame on it, he's feeling a lot better now so he could potentially start loading again at the end of this week, but it's a little bit open ended," Misson told the club's website.

vandenBerg pulled up sore from Demons' second JLT clash against Brisbane and had scans on the joint that had kept him out of football for 18 months before he returned late last season. 

Melbourne's elite performance manager, Dave Misson, said the club would consult with vandenBerg's surgeon for a "fresh set of eyes" but said surgery wasn't part of the planned treatment. 

"(The ankle) is likely to need a couple of weeks of unloading," Misson said

"We don't think it's too serious at this stage, but if you unload it for a couple of weeks you then need a couple of weeks to re-load it, but we'll find out a bit more later in the week."

Given the severity of vandenBerg's earlier injury, Misson said the 27-year-old would likely have to be cautious with his ankle for rest of his career. 

"He's had some significant surgical intervention there in that ankle and it's something he's going to have to manage for the rest of his career, I'd say," he said.

vandenBerg has been plagued by injury during the early stages of his career, playing just 35 games since being drafted to the club as a rookie in 2015.