Melbourne veteran Ben Brown is set to miss the start of his side's 2024 campaign after dealing with knee soreness and swelling.

The Demons forward will undergo a small procedure on his leg after scans found loose cartilage in his knee.

The procedure and subsequent rehabilitation could see Brown miss up to two months of action, ruling him out of the club's pre-season plans and potentially their opening handful of matches for the new season.

Speaking to Melbourne Media, Demons football boss Alan Richardson said Brown will require minor surgery on his hampered knee.

"Browny developed some knee soreness and swelling in the past week,” Richardson said. 

"Scans have shown a loose piece of cartilage in the knee joint, and this will need to be treated with a small surgical procedure.

"Browny is the ultimate professional, and we know he will attack his rehab program head on.

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

"At this stage, we expect him to be back to full fitness in approximately six to eight weeks."

Brown has dealt with ongoing knee issues over the course of his time in the red and blue, with knee soreness and a back issue keeping him to just seven appearances last year.

The 31-year-old's expected absence for the opening rounds of the 2024 season further damages Melbourne's forward stocks as swingman Harrison Petty continues to recover from a foot injury sustained late last season.

Melbourne's pre-season schedule will see them face Carlton at Ikon Park in late February prior to their Opening Round trip to the SCG, where they'll face the Swans on Thursday, March 7.