Max Gawn during a Melbourne Demons AFL training session on February 21, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

Star Melbourne ruckman, Max Gawn, may return to Melbourne’s senior side as early as next weekend.

Gawn, who suffered a serious hamstring injury in round three against Geelong, was initially expected to be sidelined for around 12 weeks.

However, speaking to Channel Seven on Sunday night, Gawn said his recovery is ahead of schedule and he could return next Sunday against the Western Bulldogs, which would mean he would have missed eight games.

“It feels as good as it can,” Gawn said.

“I’ve had two knee reconstructions and tendons taken out of everywhere on this leg, so at the moment, it’s going well.

“I trained on Saturday with the boys and was best on, so if I keep that form going, I should be all right.”

The Demons have struggled in the ruck without their star man, with the side playing without a recognised ruckman, after back-up ruckman, Jake Spencer, injured the AC joint in his shoulder in round five.