MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Joel Smith of the Demons runs with the ball during a Melbourne Demons AFL training session at Gosch's Paddock on July 11, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Melbourne will be forced to make at least one change for their preliminary final clash against Geelong on Friday night.

According to Fox Sports' Tom Morris, Demons defender Joel Smith has sustained a hamstring injury at training in the build-up to the match, opening up at least one hole to be plugged for their must-win match in Perth.

It is understood that veteran defender Michael Hibberd is set for a call-up to replace Smith for his second game since Round 19, with coach Simon Goodwin reportedly not opting for speedster Jayden Hunt.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Michael Hibberd of the Demons marks the ball during the 2017 AFL round 13 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons at Etihad Stadium on June 18, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Hunt has battled an ankle injury for the past month, with the Demons flagging earlier this week the 26-year-old will be in the running for selection.

“It will be a matter of time for Hunty. He’ll need to train really well on Tuesday and we’ll have match committee after that session to make sure everyone’s pulled up ok and we get the tick off from the conditioning and medical staff," Demons football boss Alan Richardson told SEN.

“Hunty will definitely be in the mix, we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.”

Smith's setback will be a heartbreaking blow for the backman, who returned to Goodwin's side in Round 22 for his first appearance at AFL level since last year.

The forced change is likely to be the Demons' only moving of the magnets since their 33-point qualifying final win over Brisbane.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 11: Taylor Adams of the Magpies and Joel Smith of the Demons compete for the ball during the 2018 AFL round 12 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 11, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Hunt, along with veteran Nathan Jones and young gun James Jordon, will be looking to break into the Demons' side ahead of Thursday selection, with a win against the Cats giving Melbourne a chance of breaking their 57-year premiership drought.

The Demons will host Geelong at Optus Stadium on Friday night, with the match commencing at 7:50pm AEST.