MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: Brodie Grundy of the Demons and Liam Jones of the Bulldogs look on during the 2023 AFL Round 01 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Western Bulldogs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 18, 2023 In Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Demons ruckman Brodie Grundy has reportedly been left out of Melbourne's side to take on the Brisbane Lions at the MCG on Friday night.

Per an eye-opening report, the Dees are said to be testing an alternative ruck setup, nominating a combination of veteran skipper Max Gawn and burgeoning forward Jacob van Rooyen to combat a likely Brisbane duo of Oscar McInerney and Darcy Fort on Friday.

A Gawn-Grundy pairing has been the norm for the Demons this season, with a potential Grundy demotion representing a stark change in approach from Simon Goodwin's team.

According to SEN's Tom Morris on Thursday, following up on a flagging of the situation by Channel 7's Mitch Cleary, Grundy won't participate in the Friday blockbuster, and not because of injury.

At this stage, it is not known under what label the Demons will address Grundy's apparent exclusion from Melbourne's side.

Troy Chaplin, an assistant coach at the Demons, kept his cards close to his chest when the topic of Grundy's playing status was broached on Thursday morning.

"He's coming off two-six day breaks," Chaplin told RSN on Thursday.

"Whether we want to go down that path (isn't yet clear), but he's ready to go. He trained the other day with no problems at all.

"It's just a call we have to make as a coaching group."

Grundy was acquired from Collingwood at a discounted price during last year's trade period, with the ex-Magpie appearing in all 16 Dees outings this season.

Melbourne and Brisbane's selected sides for Friday night's showdown will be announced on Thursday at 6:20 PM (AEST).