MELBOURNE will be without Max Gawn again on Saturday as the Demons hope to counter Collingwood big man Brodie Grundy without their skipper.
Gawn missed last week's win over North Melbourne and will again be absent for their clash with Collingwood as he battles a shoulder tear and a PCL injury in his knee.
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With young ruckman Luke Jackson also out with a hamstring injury, Demons coach Simon Goodwin confirmed former Kangaroos big man Braydon Preuss would come in for his first game of the year.
"Max won't play. He did some running yesterday and he's started his progression forward but we're really confident of [having him back] the following week, but we're going to leave him out of tomorrow's game," he said on Friday.
"Braydon Preuss will play and take over the ruck duties but we're expecting Max back next week.
"At the moment it's a big job for 'Preussy' to take on Grundy and we're looking forward to seeing how that goes."
Gawn was given every chance to face the Magpies but his running levels weren't considered strong enough to take into the clash.
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Goodwin said the 28-year-old's knee injury was "slight" with some swelling.
He backed Preuss to be ready for the task to take on Collingwood's back-to-back Virgin Australia AFL All Australian ruckman.
"He hasn't played a lot of footy but he's put in a lot of training and a lot of hard work. He's been sitting on the sidelines for a little while, we've had a few match simulations with our players and getting him up to speed, but there's nothing like full-blown AFL games," Goodwin said.
"He's done the work, he's done the preparation, he's waited for his opportunity and there's no bigger opportunity than against Grundy tomorrow night."
There was mixed news for the Demons' consecutive NAB AFL Rising Star nominees, with Jackson ruled out for 4-6 weeks with his injury.
However his fellow first-round pick from last year's draft, Kysaiah Pickett, signed a two-year contract extension that ties him to the Demons until the end of 2023.