Star Dee’s desperate plea to avoid VFL return
THE long wait is nearly over for Melbourne co-captain Jack Viney, who has declared he wants to make his AFL return from injury against Gold Coast in Round 8.
Viney has cut a frustrated figure as he sat out the first six rounds with a foot injury - a return against the Suns would be slightly ahead of schedule.
The 24-year-old was on a modified training program for most of the pre-season after last year undergoing surgery to relieve plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Given the long lay-off, Viney concedes he may have to return via the VFL, but has his sights set on slotting straight back into Simon Goodwin's AFL side.
"I'm hoping to get back and play next week somewhere - either against Gold Coast or in the VFL," Viney told Fox Sports' AFL Tonight.
"I can finally see myself playing next week.
"I think (the club) put a pretty conservative time frame on it way back just in case I did have a hiccup here or there.
"So we had a couple of weeks up our sleeves but it's been a pretty good two months of training and preparation.
"I think it's time I get back out there.
"I feel like I've done the preparation to be able to come in and play (AFL) but it's the coach's call."
The 12th-placed Demons will be looking to improve to a 4-3 record when they face St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Christian Salem is out of that clash after he underwent surgery on a broken thumb on Monday.
Christian Petracca is a chance to return from the infected dog bite that kept him out of last week's win over Essendon.
Star forward Jesse Hogan pulled up sore after that match and will be monitored.
"Jesse had a couple of things going on in the game ... he had that (sore) knee that he got a knock on and then he rolled an ankle," performance manager Dave Misson said.
"So, we'll just assess him later in the week, but at this stage, he's looking OK.
"But he's got a little bit of work to do, but he's a professional player and we hope he's going to get up."