MELBOURNE captain Max Gawn will be sidelined for up to five weeks because of an ankle injury in the latest blow to the club’s AFL premiership defence.
Gawn will miss between three and five weeks after suffering a syndesmosis injury in his left ankle during Monday’s loss to Collingwood.
That result was the Demons’ third consecutive defeat and came after Steven May was suspended for a fight with teammate Jake Melksham at a Melbourne restaurant.
Gawn’s loss is a massive blow for the Demons, who cling to second spot with a 10-3 record, but the premiership skipper won’t require surgery.
“Max had a left ankle concern during the game and, while he managed to battle through, was quite sore afterwards,” Melbourne’s football manager Alan Richardson said in a statement on Wednesday.
“He had some scans on Tuesday which unfortunately showed some ligament damage.
“Max will be in a moonboot until early next week and will then begin his structured rehabilitation program.
“It’s obviously disappointing that we will be without our leader for the next three to five weeks.
“But we’re hopeful it’ll be a relatively quick recovery for Max.”
Melbourne has a bye this weekend and then faces a challenging stretch of games heading into the finals, starting with a June 23 encounter with ladder-leaders Brisbane.
May is available for selection for the Lions game, having served a club-imposed one-game ban for his brawl with Melksham, who twice had surgery on a hand injury suffered in their June 5 fight.
After the Brisbane fixture, the Demons meet lowly Adelaide the following round but then play finals contenders for the remainder of the season: Geelong, Port Adelaide, Western Bulldogs, Fremantle, Collingwood, Carlton and the Lions again.
(C) AAP 2022