MELBOURNE will take on Hawthorn in Sydney on Sunday without No.1 key forward Tom McDonald in a blow to its hopes of winning consecutive matches for the first time in more than a year.
McDonald suffered an accidental poke in his right eye from Gold Coast defender Charlie Ballard in the first quarter of last week's game and will sit out the Hawks clash as a precaution.
Demons coach Simon Goodwin confirmed club medicos wanted to avoid the risk of McDonald causing further damage but said they would likely stick with the two-tall forward line in his absence.
That means the likes of Mitch Brown and Luke Jackson will come into the selection mix, as could defender Joel Smith and wingman Adam Tomlinson, who've both played up forward previously.
Nathan Jones and Alex Neal-Bullen are others pushing for recalls.
"We had a look at the two talls last week – only for a quarter of the game, until Tom went off the ground – but we certainly liked how it looks," Goodwin told reporters.
"Those two guys (Brown and Jackson) will certainly come into calculations.
"They're both in good form and can both offer something slightly different to each other, so we'll have a look at what that looks like today in training."
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That leaves Sam Weideman, who kicked two goals in his first game of the season against the Suns, to lead Melbourne's attack.
Goodwin was impressed with Weideman's "terrific" performance, after he had worked hard on his "aerial presence and being consistent" to work his way back into the senior side.
The Demons are in the process of bringing their remaining players and other family members from Victoria up to Queensland, and everyone will relocate there on Monday after the Hawthorn game.
All 10 Victorian clubs are now highly unlikely to play in their home state again this year, at least in the regular season and possibly beyond.
"We'll be away for a long period of time," Goodwin said.
"But what it does do is it gives clubs, players and everyone a chance to plan around that now and to get settled and embrace the opportunities that present within these next 10 or 11 weeks."
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Melbourne remains in the dark about when its catch-up fixture with Essendon will be played, after the scheduled round three contest was postponed in the wake of Conor McKenna's positive COVID-19 test.
The Demons' victory over Gold Coast silenced some of the criticism that raged over the previous week about its performance since reaching the 2018 preliminary final.
However, Goodwin said the match-up with the Hawks provided a further opportunity to illustrate where they were at.
"It's important for us as a footy club. It's a long time since we've won multiple games in a row," he said.
"I think it's time as a club we started building that winning culture and building some momentum into our season … to show people and change perception about where we are moving as a footy club and what we can achieve."