MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: Jake Lever of the Demons handpasses the ball during the round four AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Melbourne Demons at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 15, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Melbourne Demons senior coach Simon Goodwin has ruled premiership defenders Jake Lever and Michael Hibberd out of Friday night's clash with Essendon.

Lever, an All-Australian last season, has battled a plantar fascia foot injury, while Hibberd continues to deal with a bothersome calf ailment.

Goodwin on Tuesday assured the club wouldn't rush Lever back, while also expressing his confidence in the current back six.

"The medical team and high-performance team have taken an approach where we just need to make sure [Lever is] 100 per cent right to go, and that's been supported by the coaching group," Goodwin told media.

"They've done a great job with our players over a couple of years now and this is another example of just making sure Jake's in the right position to perform, and we're really comfortable with that.

"We'd love Jake to be back, don't get me wrong, but we're really comfortable with the way the back six are functioning together. They're cohesive in the way they're playing, they're holding up well, they withstood 59 entries on the weekend and performed really strongly."

The Dees' defence, which is also currently without Harrison Petty and Christian Salem, held-up well against the Gold Coast Suns last Saturday, allowing just 69 points in the 13-point triumph.

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"We're comfortable where they sit as a back six at the moment but we'd love to get some troops back," Goodwin continued.

"Jake, Michael and Christian are pretty important players to us, so getting those guys back and available and ready to perform is important. But, we're rapt with some of the performances we're seeing from our back six at the moment."

Medium defender Jake Bowey is one of those back six performers. The 19-year-old has been afforded more opportunities off half-back in the absence of the aforementioned Salem and Hibberd and has thrived.

The youngster put in an admirable showing against the Suns, racking up 34 disposals, nine marks, seven rebound-50s and earning himself the round's Rising Star nomination.

Petty is tipped to still be a couple of weeks away from returning to action, while Salem is slated to miss up to two months with his knee injury.

The Demons will aim to continue their undefeated premiership defence when they go toe-to-toe with the winless Bombers at the MCG.