DEFENDER Michael Hibberd won’t play in Melbourne’s final JLT Community Series match against the West Coast Eagles at Domain Stadium on Thursday, due to Achilles soreness.
Elite performance manager Dave Misson confirmed on Monday that Hibberd would not play in this week’s match.
“We’re just managing some Achilles soreness really. He pulled up a little bit sore after Friday’s session,” he told melbournefc.com.au.
“It got stomped on during the session and it’s still a bit sore today (Monday), so we’re getting a bit more information.
“It’s really going to be a management thing, so we’re not going to play him this week and we’ll look to build him up again for round one.”
Misson said the club wanted to be cautious with Hibberd, given he missed 2016, and would be managed up until the start of the premiership season.
“We’re conscious that he’s had 12 months out of the game,” he said.
“He’s only had one game since coming back and we want to make sure that he’s cherry ripe before going back out there.”
Hibberd, who joined Melbourne from Essendon last October, has played 84 AFL matches since making his debut in 2011.