Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin has confirmed both Jake Lever and Michael Hibberd will sit out Friday night’s clash against Essendon at the MCG.
The Demons are priced at 1/5 to beat the Bombers but will have to do without the duo as they complete their return to full match fitness.
Lever has yet to play this season as he has been struggling with a plantar fascia foot injury and the Demons are keen to avoid rushing him back. The same can be said of Hibberd who has a calf issue.
Goodwin has confirmed that both players are close to making a return but will be given an extra week to recover.
"The medical team and high performance team have taken an approach where we just need to make sure he's 100 per cent right to go and that's been supported by the coaching group," Goodwin said of Lever.
"They've done a great job with our players over a couple of years now and this is another example of just making sure Jake's in the right position to perform and we're really comfortable with that.
"We'd love Jake to be back, don't get me wrong, but we're really comfortable with the way the back six are functioning together."
Christian Salem is another player currently on the sidelines but Goodwin is happy with the players who are filling in.
"Jake, Michael and Christian are pretty important players to us so getting those guys back and available and ready to perform is important," he added. "But we're rapt with some of the performances we're seeing from our back six at the moment."