MELBOURNE has lost prominent midfielder Angus Brayshaw for the rest of the season ahead of the club's most important clash of the year on Saturday night.

The Demons must win each of their last two matches, against Greater Western Sydney and Essendon, to give themselves a chance of qualifying for the finals.

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They will have to do that without Brayshaw, whose foot injury sustained in last week's defeat to Sydney is worse than first thought.

The 24-year-old will return to Melbourne for season-ending surgery and faces up to a three-month recovery.

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"He obviously had a foot scan, you have a look at the area and it was still sore three or four days post," Goodwin said.

"Since that period, he's had a weightbearing scan, which has identified some ligaments under the bottom of the foot that need to be operated on.

"It's one of those things that the further you investigate the more significant the injury was and he wasn't going to get back at all this year."

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The news comes as Goodwin gave the best indication yet that ex-Docker and Sun Harley Bennell would receive a fresh deal for next season.

Bennell appears to have put his torrid run of calf injuries behind him, after surgery on both of his legs last year, and has played five games this season, but none since round 10.

The Demons have rejigged the 27-year-old's training program based around trying to regain the explosiveness around stoppages that made him such a brilliant prospect early in his AFL career.

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"He's getting better and better – he's embraced it – and, as I've said a lot, we don't see Harley Bennell as someone who was a short-term option for us," Goodwin said.

"We see him as a long-term prospect and we're going to continue to build his body, and build the trust in his body to execute the things we're looking for, so we're really happy with how Harley's progressing.

"I'd like to think (he will be at the club in 2021). He hasn't indicated anything of why he wouldn't be."

Goodwin said he had reinforced with his players the ruthless streak and discipline he wanted to see from them, starting this week against the Giants.

He pointed to Adelaide's upset of GWS on Tuesday night as the "blueprint" of how to beat Leon Cameron's side, which will be without omitted captain Stephen Coniglio.

"If you win the territory battle against them and you win clearance, you're able to lock the ball in (your half)," Goodwin said.

"I thought Adelaide provided a blueprint of how it can be done, against a really high-quality team.

"Clearly, their response will come through the middle of the ground. It was an area they got beaten in last week, but if you can win that area of the game and play the game in your half of the ground, it goes a long way to winning the game."