MELBOURNE'S All Australian ruckman Max Gawn has issued a warning to co-captain Jack Viney to not rush back into the AFL side from his long-term foot injury.
Viney, who last played in round 21 last year, is due to play at some level this weekend, after admitting in the off-season he returned too quickly – in just 19 days – from plantar fascia surgery in 2017.
The 24-year-old lasted only four matches before shutting down his season.
"It's a fine balance. I'll answer the question if it's me – and I regret coming straight away into the AFL off my hamstring last year," Gawn said on RSN927.
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"I was 11 or 12 weeks (out) and Jack's almost a year, so there's a difference there. But Jack's a smaller player.
"Tom McDonald came back and he was only seven weeks, but Tom did a full pre-season, so it's all slightly different cases.
"But if I could give advice to Jack – I definitely regret not getting a couple of games in the VFL before I came into the AFL."
Gawn also weighed in on fellow ruckman Nic Naitanui's one-week suspension for a dangerous tackle and said being tall was not "an out".
The West Coast star tackled Port Adelaide's Karl Amon from behind in the last quarter of the Eagles' 42-point win on Saturday and landed on top of the Power player as they fell to the ground.
Amon suffered a concussion in the incident and is in doubt for Saturday's Showdown clash with the Crows at Adelaide Oval.
"I really don't mind it too much," Gawn said.
"It hasn't fussed me; it hasn't made me want to put a tweet out there and get angry at the AFL and what not.
"It's a tackle, it's hurt him. Yeah, I'd probably be angry if I did the tackle, but I'd get over it, it's a week's suspension … I'm not too fussed by the whole situation."
Naitanui, like Gawn, stands more than 200cm tall, but the in-form Demon said height was not a factor in executing a tackle.
"I don't think that's an out," Gawn said.
"(Fremantle's Aaron) Sandilands hasn't been suspended for a bad tackle and he's the tallest player to ever play, so I don't think that's an out."
Melbourne was in the news itself this week, with spearhead Jesse Hogan initially accused of staging when he fell to the ground after contact from St Kilda defender Jake Carlisle on Sunday.
There were suggestions Hogan could receive a fine for the act before behind-the-goal vision illustrated Carlisle's hand hit the Demon in the throat.
"I didn't personally know that Jesse would get affected by it – I thought it would be water off a duck's back to him," Gawn said.
"But from all reports, he was relatively upset with people calling him a stager, which is fair enough, (because) it's probably the one thing you don't want to be called in the game.
"There was some obvious footage that he didn't stage – it was a clear chop to the throat, or whatever you want to call it – and the club did really well by him.
"Josh Mahoney came out and shut it down straight away the next day, and that's a great way to build trust within the club … I'm not sure if anyone's calling him a stager now."
AFL Exchange podcast
Demon Angus Brayshaw joins the crew to discuss if Nic Nat should be whacked, whether Hogan was staging and who is the coach of the year so far: