Dashing Melbourne defender Christian Salem has suffered an unfortunate setback in his quest to return to senior action, falling victim to a meniscus tear that will keep him out of action for a further period.

Salem, who was originally slated to partake in Casey's VFL season opener this weekend, had been progressing pleasingly in his recovery from a thyroid issue.

However, as Melbourne GM of AFL Performance Dan Richardson confirmed in a club statement, Salem has been ruled out of any footballing activity this weekend due to the fresh meniscus ailment, and his return to play is currently unknown.

"Christian has suffered an injury to his left knee and won't be available to play in Casey's VFL match on Saturday as planned," Richardson said on Friday.

"He experienced some soreness following the main training session earlier in the week and scans have today revealed a small tear in his meniscus.

"We are still gathering further information and will be in a better position next week to understand what his rehabilitation program looks like."

The Demons will welcome back Bayley Fritsch, Jack Viney and Steven May from injury on Thursday night as they prepare to battle the Lions in Brisbane on Friday night.