Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin has shared an update on injured Demons pair Max Gawn and Steven May, with Gawn feared to have suffered a serious knee injury during his side's loss to the Lions on Friday.
Gawn fell victim to an apparent knee ailment within the opening minutes of the first quarter, with pundits quick to speculate about a potential anterior cruciate ligament rupture.
However, Goodwin made it clear that no specific injury has been confirmed as of yet, with scans yet to take place to determine the root issue.
Speaking to the media post-game on Friday evening, Goodwin, evidently disheartened by the prospect of losing his captain for an extended stint, gave an update on his premier ruckman.
"Clearly, there's an emotional toll to your team when you lose your skipper that early in the game," Goodwin started.
"He's got a knee (injury). We need to get it scanned. So, we'll just have to wait and see on that, your next question's probably going to be about [the] worst-case scenario.
"It'd be unfair to go down that path. We're unsure. So, I don't want his family sitting at home thinking he's done his knee, we need to get further scans and assess that. So, we're unsure, but it takes a toll on a team when you lose your skipper early in the game like that."
However, in a supremely positive revelation, Gawn's scans have revealed the towering ruckman's injury is not as severe as initially feared, as the Demons released an official update on Saturday stating the Melbourne captain has only suffered a Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) sprain, and that an ACL tear has been avoided.
Our skipper's scans are in + we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Details 👉 https://t.co/ahpdU0cUy0 pic.twitter.com/ULr9FWG5Ug
— Melbourne Demons (@melbournefc) March 25, 2023
"Max had scans which show a moderate-grade medial ligament injury and at this stage, we expect him to be available in four to six weeks," General Manager of AFL Football Performance Alan Richardson said in a club statement.
"Max has seen a knee specialist and is working with our medical and high-performance team to determine the best return to play rehabilitation program."
Asked to provide an update on May, who was a late withdrawal prior to Friday night's contest due to a calf complaint, Goodwin said the key defender was in a positive position to play next weekend.
"No (problems), he's fine. He just missed a couple of his markers during the week that we were pretty keen for him to hit with his soft tissue history. We just weren't prepared to take that risk, he's an important player to us, and we want to make sure he's right for the whole season.
"He'll definitely play [next] week (against Sydney), so it'll be good to get him back."
On a night that will be remembered for a power outage causing the light towers to malfunction, Goodwin was also quizzed on whether he thought the AFL should alter protocols around unexpected breaks in the game.
"We haven't given it any thought at all," said Goodwin. "Hopefully it doesn't happen too often."
The Demons, now with a win and a loss on the season, will battle the Swans at the MCG in Round 3.