MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 28: Trent Rivers of the Demons kicks the ball during the 2021 AFL Round 11 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons at Marvel Stadium on May 28, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)

Melbourne premiership defender Trent Rivers is every chance to miss the Demons' grand final rematch with the Bulldogs, with the 20-year-old battling a PCL strain.

According to reports from AFL Media, the Western Australian sustained the ailment within the Redlegs' practice match against North Melbourne at Casey Fields last week.

While Rivers was able to run out the four-quarter contest, scans have revealed that the backman's low-grade strain is likely to sideline him for 3-4 weeks.

The member of the 22under22 team in 2021 isn't the only Dees defender under duress ahead of their season opener, with Christian Salem (knee), Steven May and Michael Hibberd (tightness) some way off full fitness.

Although each will miss Melbourne's AAMI Community Series clash with Carlton at Marvel Stadium this Thursday night, the trio is expected to be available to face Luke Beveridge's side in Round 1.

Given the opening bounce of the Wednesday night contest before what is expected to be a packed house at the Melbourne Cricket Ground is now under three weeks away, Rivers could well be sitting alongside fellow youngster Harrison Petty in the grandstands.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Michael Hibberd (left) and Trent Rivers of the Demons celebrate during the 2021 AFL First Preliminary Final match between the Melbourne Demons and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on September 10, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Following internal bleeding in a corked calf, Petty went under the knife in mid-February to relieve the muscle.

The 22-year-old is expected to miss another 3-4 weeks of action, however, it is not yet known whether the recently re-signed defender will return via the VFL.

After recovering from an ACL injury sustained in Round 7 of last season, Adam Tomlinson is now a certainty to take the field in the first game of Melbourne's first premiership defence since 1965.

The Demons and Dogs will do battle at the MCG on Wednesday, March 18 following their respective pre-season meetings with the Blues and Lions this week.