MELBOURNE expects former Essendon pair Jake Melksham and Michael Hibberd to join the team's football program full-time post-Christmas.
However the club is taking a cautious approach with their preparation as they integrate them into the squad after a season out of football.
Melbourne fitness boss Dave Misson told melbournefc.com.au that Melksham and Hibberd had arrived at the Demons for pre-season training in good shape, but it was sensible to take things slowly.
"[We're] making sure we build their base and don't throw them … into the football program straight away without getting a real good handle on where they are at," Misson said.
"They both need a little bit more base work [and we're] looking at them being full on into the footy program post-Christmas."
The two players served season-long bans in 2016 after the Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended 34 past and present Essendon players for breaching anti-doping code rules.
Melksham was already a Melbourne player before being banned while Hibberd joined the Demons during this year's trade period.
Misson said he was looking forward to working with Hawthorn's four-time premiership player Jordan Lewis after Melbourne claimed the veteran during this year's trade period.
"[He has a] lot of pre-seasons under his belt, so he'll really help the young kids cope with what is a pretty solid three-month period before they start playing," Misson said.