MELBOURNE forward Tom McDonald is facing a race against the clock to return before the club's upcoming finals campaign, with the important goalkicker forced to undergo surgery to repair a foot injury.

The Demons consulted with a host of surgeons this week and determined that McDonald would undergo an operation to repair the low-grade Lisfranc injury, which could see him spend multiple months on the sidelines.

MEDICAL ROOM Check out the full injury list

It’s a significant blow to the side's hopes of securing a second successive premiership later this year, with McDonald emerging as one of the forward line's most valuable members after kicking 15 goals from nine games so far this season.

Melbourne's Tom McDonald looks to pass the ball during the Demons' round nine match against West Coast at Optus Stadium on May 15, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"Tom unfortunately was unable to train fully following the main training session last week and, following further scans, it was discovered that Tom had sustained a low-grade Lisfranc injury," the club's performance manager Selwyn Griffith said.

"Unfortunately for Tom, due to the instability of the Lisfranc joint, we consulted with multiple surgeons around the best course of action.

"Tom and the medical team have decided to go with a small plate across the joint to stabilise the joint, which gives him the opportunity to play towards the back-end of this season."

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Melbourne's backline is also facing a selection headache this week, with Steven May forced to serve an internal one-match suspension for drinking while in the AFL's 12-day concussion protocols.

Harrison Petty is also under an injury cloud heading into next week's Queen's Birthday clash against Collingwood, with the premiership defender needing to undergo a fitness test to determine his availability after a shoulder knock.