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Melbourne Football Club

Ruck duo planned for Perth

Rd 9 | Media Conference | Simon Goodwin Simon Goodwin speaks to the media ahead of our Round 9 trip to Perth to play the West Coast Eagles
West Coast had a pretty good plan against Maxy previously, so that's something we've worked on as a club to make that function better for us
Simon Goodwin

MELBOURNE is considering recalling big man Braydon Preuss to partner Max Gawn in the ruck as the Demons return to Perth on Friday night for the first time since last year's fateful preliminary final.

The Demons, though, will need to see more from Jordan Lewis before he is cleared to fly west to face West Coast after the veteran injured his ankle against Gold Coast on Saturday night.

Preuss was best afield in his return in the VFL from a shoulder complaint against Essendon on Saturday, amassing 40 hitouts, gathering 16 disposals and kicking two goals.

Eagles pair Scott Lycett and Nathan Vardy did a number on Gawn in last year's penultimate game, and while Lycett is now with Port Adelaide, West Coast could bring Tom Hickey back from injury this week to combat the star big man.

Goodwin said the Demons would have a plan ready in case the Eagles tried to shut down Gawn in a similar fashion on Friday night.

"West Coast had a pretty good plan against Maxy previously, so that's something we've worked on as a club to make that function better for us, so we'll be pretty well prepared whether it's Braydon or someone else that partners Max," Goodwin said.

Lewis injured his ankle against Gold Coast on Saturday night and barely trained on Tuesday

"He'll be a call later in the week. He had a badly rolled ankle so we'll assess that one and leave that one right up until Thursday," Goodwin said.

Melbourne will also be forced to replace Jake Melksham (foot) and Michael Hibberd (collarbone), with Tim Smith, Alex Neal-Bullen, Corey Wagner, Harrison Petty and Tom Sparrow all in contention to play.

Goodwin said there are no mental scars that will affect his players in returning to the scene where the Demons were annihilated by 66 points in the preliminary final.

The Demons also won't go back and watch the review of the game, staying consistent with that decision not to view the carnage that unfolded.

"It's completely irrelevant and we're in a completely different season now and we're well aware of where we are," Goodwin said.

"We're looking at what we can do and we see this as an opportunity to get better again and our method of play is improving.

"There's been a lot of stories about it (the letdown of the preliminary final) but in the end we just haven't played good footy but right now we feel like our game is getting into better shape."