MITCH Clark has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

The Demons confirmed on Monday that Clark, who has managed just four games this year due to an ongoing foot complaint, would not return this year.

Football operations manager Josh Mahoney said the decision was made to make sure his energies are devoted to returning to football in 2014.

"The club has reassessed Mitch's foot injury on a weekly basis and projected timelines for when he would be available to play," Mahoney told

"It is now clear that there is insufficient time left in the season for him to fully recover and achieve appropriate match fitness preventing him from making a successful return.

"The focus will now switch to his preparation for pre-season training and a successful return to football in 2014."

Last season, Clark suffered a LisFranc injury in round 13 against Greater Western Sydney and was forced to miss the rest of the season.

The 25-year-old returned at the start of 2013, but sprained his foot in round four against the Giants.

Following scans, the Demons then made the call to bring planned end-of-season surgery forward and remove a screw from his injured foot.
The news is frustrating for Demons fans, who are still yet to see the tandem of Clark and Collingwood recruit Chris Dawes in the same forward line.

Clark has played 97 matches, including 15 for Melbourne since the start of last year. He has booted 97 goals, including 36 at the Demons.

Clark was expected to miss between six and eight weeks in his recovery, but has not been sighted since.

Ben Guthrie is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_BenGuthrie