Melbourne defender Steven May was subbed from the clash against Hawthorn following a big hit from Mabior Chol.

May - who copped a knock in the second term - was seen in visible distress and a lot of pain.

Expert commentator David King believes that the All-Australian defender has suspected broken ribs, in what is a massive blow from the Demons.

“Not great news for the Dees, Simon Goodwin just came past and said he's ‘done for the day', some soreness in that rib area, a big knee into the rib by big Mabior Chol," King said during the third term of Fox Footy's coverage.

"So, he's done for the day, unfortunately, from the Demons' point of view ... Suspected broken ribs, he's being taken to the Epworth for precautionary scans just to get further details.

"So, he's done for the day, and we'll find out the long-term effects in the next couple of hours.”

Marty Hore replaced May.