Melbourne defender Daniel Turner is set to miss a large portion of the 2024 season after suffering a stress fracture in his leg.

The Demons confirmed on Saturday that the 22-year-old will be sidelined for up to 12 weeks after sustaining the femur injury during the pre-season.

Turner has dealt with hand and facial injuries during his time with the Demons to play just three games over the past two seasons.

Melbourne football boss Alan Richardson said the key defender's latest setback was an unfortunate result.

“Daniel has unfortunately sustained a stress fracture in his femur,” Richardson said in a club update.

“This will see him miss quite a significant block, with his return-to-play timeline being 10 to 12 weeks.

“While this news is really disappointing, we know the type of person and athlete Daniel is, and expect him to attack his rehab with a positive and determined mindset over the coming weeks.”

Daniel Turner during Melbourne's open training session at Gosch's Paddock, Melbourne in 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes/Zero Digital Sports)

Fellow key position Demon Harrison Petty will miss his club's first pre-season meeting with Richmond this weekend due to toe soreness.

The new ailment will keep Petty sidelined for the time being, with the club hopeful the defender-turned-forward can be fit prior to their Opening Round clash with Sydney.

“Harrison has been experiencing some soreness in his toe, which has meant he hasn't been able to build up his training loads as we would've liked,” Richardson added.

“He won't play on Sunday, but we will continue to monitor him in the lead up to our practice match against Carlton.”

New recruit Shane McAdam remains sidelined with a calf issue he recently sustained at training, with the Demons having to rule out the medium-sized forward for Sunday's clash at Casey Fields as well.

Richardson said the club will be patient in their approach with McAdam.

“Shane has some ongoing tightness in his calf, and we have made the decision to take a conservative approach,” Richardson said.

“He is going to be such an important player for us, so we don't want to be risking anything at this stage of the pre-season.”

Melbourne Demons player Shane McAdam at pre-season training, 2023 (Image via Melbourne FC)

Melbourne have also noted that Angus Brayshaw (illness), Taj Woewodin (concussion) and Andy Moniz-Wakefield (thigh) won't feature in Sunday's match simulation.

The Demons are already without the likes of Ben Brown (knee) and Tom Fullarton (hamstring) for the start of the 2024 season.

Melbourne host Richmond at Casey Fields on Sunday morning before a second pre-season match with Carlton.

Their first game proper of 2024 will come at the SCG on Thursday, March 7 against the Swans.