Melbourne will enter their Round 1 clash with Geelong without co-captain Jack Viney, with the midfielder failing to recover from a foot injury.
Viney had surgery on his foot after the competition of the 2017 season, but has struggled in his recovery and will now have an additional week to prove his fitness.
“We have decided that to give Jack the best preparation for the full year, he will not be available for selection for Round 1,” Melbourne’s football manager Josh Mahoney told AFL.com.au.
“Whilst he has not had any setbacks in his rehab program, Jack has not completed enough football sessions to give him the best chance to perform for the entire season.”
The 23-year-old is still lining up to play some minutes in a VFL practice match against Box Hill on March 17.