Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin plans for midfielder Clayton Oliver to make his return in round 17, following his absence due to a hamstring injury and tightness in the muscle. Oliver’s comeback was delayed further when he was hospitalized with an infected foot blister. This absence has had a significant impact on the Demons, according to Matthew Lloyd, as they not only need to ramp up Oliver’s match fitness but also face a drop-off in performance with Tom Sparrow as his replacement.
Despite Oliver’s setback, Melbourne hopes to have him back for their game against St Kilda in the following week at Marvel Stadium. Goodwin provided an update on Oliver’s injury, stating that it is progressing positively but is not yet fully healed, preventing him from reaching maximum speed. The team is working with Oliver to address this issue and aims to have him back on the field soon.
Melbourne’s position on the ladder is currently fourth, and they have upcoming matches against GWS, St Kilda, Brisbane, and Adelaide in the next month. The game against Brisbane in round 18 has the potential to be a top-four clash, although Melbourne’s hold on fourth place is tenuous, with St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs also on 28 points.
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Hasibur Rahaman is a passionate sports journalist. He covers everything from cricket to field hockey, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis of sporting events, both within India and on the international stage.