AFL Rd 4 - Melbourne v Geelong
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 11: Christian Salem of the Demons kicks during the round four AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Geelong Cats at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 11, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Star defender Christian Salem has been confirmed to be sidelined for six to eight weeks after completing surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his knee, adding to the Dees' already extensive injury list.

Salem sustained the injury fairly early into Melbourne's Round 1 clash with the Doggies, where he was subbed out of the match.

On a more positive note for the club, Melbourne have revealed that defender Trent Rivers remains a possible replacement, with the 20-year-old preparing to undergo a fitness test in the upcoming week. Rivers missed the opening round due to a PCL injury, but has now rejoined the main group in training and is expected to get back to action soon.

Both Mitchell Hibberd and Jake Lever have made good progress on their respective injuries, and could potentially make their season debut as early as this week. Forward Kade Chandler has also progressed out of the rehab group after spending time recovering from an abdominal muscle tear.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Christian Salem of the Demons handballs during a Melbourne Demons AFL training session at Gosch's Paddock on September 17, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Harrison Petty still remains sidelined for around three to four weeks with a calf injury, while fellow defender Daniel Turner has now been sidelined due to a stress fracture in the foot.

Melbourne travel to Metricon to take on the Suns in Round 2, who are in high spirits after an impressive 27-point victory over the Eagles.