AFL Rd 8 - Melbourne v Brisbane
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 26: Max Gawn of the Demons looks dejected after losing the round 8 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium on July 26, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Just days after Melbourne fronted up to Adelaide Oval with no recognised ruckman, the reigning premiers could be in for a major boost with the return of both Max Gawn and Luke Jackson.

Gawn has been sidelined since Round 13 with a syndesmosis issue, leaving the ruck duties to young gun Jackson who has impressed in the skipper's absence.

Jackson however, was a late withdrawal against Adelaide on Saturday afternoon due to knee soreness, leaving the Demons undermanned throughout the 29-point win.

As the Demons turn their focus to Geelong on Thursday night, the club is hopeful they will be able to welcome back both of their invaluable big men. The Demons confirmed on Monday that both Gawn and Jackson will face fitness tests before making the road trip to Geelong, with their respective injuries not expected to keep them on the sidelines much longer.

Elsewhere at the Dees, Daniel Turner is expected to return within a fortnight after suffering facial fractures in his debut match back in Round 13, with Blake Howes given a similar timeline on his return from a foot injury.

Joel Smith, who has managed just five games this season as he contends with a foot injury, is increasing his training and could make a return within the next month.

The Demons also provided an update on Tom McDonald, who has been dealing with an ongoing Lisfranc injury with fears he wouldn't feature again in 2022. The key forward is now back to walking after having a plate inserted into his foot, with the club expecting him to return in eight to ten weeks.

While the 29-year-old is all but certain not to feature in the remainder of the home and away season, the club has left the door open for a potential return for late finals action, should Melbourne be present.