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Goodwin confident despite Demons' defeat

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin is confident Steven May and James Harmes will be available for their AFL season opener against Port Adelaide next weekend.

Goodwin confident despite Demons' defeat

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin is confident Steven May and James Harmes will be available for their AFL season opener against Port Adelaide next weekend.

Demons head coach SIMON GOODWIN gives instructions during a Melbourne Demons AFL training session at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne, Australia.
Demons head coach SIMON GOODWIN gives instructions during a Melbourne Demons AFL training session at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne are breathing a huge sigh of relief with news that star tagger James Harmes is expected to be available for their AFL season opener against Port Adelaide on March 23 after suffering a nasty finger injury on Saturday.

In hazy conditions at Casey Fields, due to bushfires in south east Victoria, Harmes sustained a dislocation and compound fracture in the second quarter of the Demons' 16.8 (104) to 15.7 (97) loss to Brisbane Lions.


However, after being sent to hospital to have it treated, coach Simon Goodwin allayed fears of the Melbourne faithful regarding his availability in a fortnight's time.

"His finger (bone) came out, he's had that stitched up but he'll be right to go for round one, our doctors are really, really clear on that," Goodwin said post-match.

"We've had many a player who have had that injury and played the next week."

And Goodwin had few concerns over boom recruit Steven May, despite the star defender potentially facing scrutiny from match review officer Michael Christian for his late hit to Jarrod Berry's chin in the final quarter which forced the latter from the field and take no further part in the match.

"It seemed minimal contact to me, he was just standing there ready to block so I'm really confident that he'll be right to play," Goodwin said.

Goodwin also was confident that Joel Smith (groin) and Bayley Fritsch (hip) would face Port, but the news wasn't as good for Jay Kennedy Harris who hyperextended his knee in the second quarter and was stretchered from the ground.

"It looked nasty, I think we were fearing ACL, but he's gone and had a scan and that's all clear but there's a bit into the knee injury so it'll be a while for Jay."

Brisbane recruit Jarryd Lyons had a day out with 26 disposals, six clearances, five tackles, seven inside 50s and a team-high four goals playing more time as a deep forward.

Dees defender Joel Smith kicked four goals, while Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw, May, Max Gawn and Aaron vandenBerg were among their best players.

"Melbourne are a really good football side and to be able to match them ... it was really important for us today to give ourselves a test in that area and we've come out on top in clearances and contested ball so from that our boys should get a bit of confidence," Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said.

"We'll build on that."

AAP


AAP




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