MELBOURNE coach Simon Goodwin has bristled when asked if Steven May owes the Demons anything in his AFL return.
Goodwin has confirmed that the key defender will finally be back from his groin injury in the annual Queen’s Birthday blockbuster on Monday against Collingwood.
Fellow defender Jake Lever could also return, provided he makes it through Friday training.
May has only played one game this season since his high-profile trade from Gold Coast.
Earlier this season, there were criticisms of the backman’s fitness,.
Then when he was injured, May was in the spotlight again when a photo was taken of him drinking at a pub while the Demons were playing interstate.
Goodwin paused for a couple of seconds and then chose his words carefully when asked whether May owed Melbourne.
“Steven doesn’t owe us anything, Steven’s been working incredibly hard for a long period of time,” Goodwin said.
“He didn’t do anything that was drastically wrong and that was blown way out of proportion.
“Steven May is going to be a very, very fine player for this football club.”
Goodwin is also confident that Lever will play his first AFL game since round 11 last season.
Lever has been out of action since with a knee reconstruction and then an ankle injury.
“It will be great to have Steve and Jake both available and ready to go,” Goodwin said.
It will also be the fifth Freeze MND game and former Demons coach Neale Daniher, who has become the face of the fight against the disease, spoke to the Melbourne players this week.
Goodwin said the Demons had picked up on Daniher’s message about seizing opportunities in adversity.
Melbourne’s season of great expectations looks in tatters – the Demons are third-bottom with a 3-8 record.
“There’s still so much to play out in this season,” Goodwin said.
“If people can tell me right now what’s going to happen in the next 12 to 13, I’d be all ears.
“Anything’s possible still … so we just go about trying to get better and improve.
“We’re still capable of playing some really good footy. We’re full steam ahead as a footy club.”
© AAP 2019