HARLEY Bennell has signed with Melbourne through the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period (SSP).

The 27-year-old has been training with the Demons since the end of 2019, but strained his left calf in late January.

The injury is understood to be minor, but no timeframe has been placed on the former Docker and Sun’s return yet.

Bennell has suffered a range of injuries to both calves over a six-year span, restricting the former No.2 draft pick to just two games since 2015.

Melbourne's general manager of football Josh Mahoney praised Bennell's positive attitude.

"We are really pleased to welcome Harley to Melbourne through the SSP, and officially have him as part of our list for the 2020 season," Mahoney told Melbourne's website.

"Since joining us to train in December, Harley has shown nothing but commitment to his individualised program and to the club.


"Although he has faced some minor setbacks over the past two months, he has taken this opportunity with both hands, and maintained a strong, positive outlook."

Bennell had been training away from the main group even before the recent calf setback.

Bennell impressed early in his career at the Suns. Picture: AFL Photos

"He understands the importance of undergoing a slow, modified program, and he knows there may be further challenges to tackle along the way," Mahoney said.

"We think that by making this decision early, it will take away an undue pressure and enable Harley to concentrate fully on this program."

The Demons could have an extra list spot available if they place Aaron Nietschke on the long-term injury list.

They could potentially sign an additional player through the SSP or wait until the Mid-Year Rookie Draft.

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