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Brown out again, but Lever back for Dees

3 minute read

Melbourne will welcome back star defender Jake Lever for Friday night's AFL clash with Fremantle, but forward Ben Brown will miss a second straight match.

JAKE LEVER.
JAKE LEVER. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin is confident Ben Brown will be purring in time for the AFL finals despite the key forward's ongoing knee problems.

Brown missed last week's 10-point loss to the Western Bulldogs due to knee soreness, and he's also been forced out of Friday night's blockbuster against Fremantle in Perth.

The 29-year-old has battled knee issues in recent years and it's a problem he'll have to manage for the rest of his career.

But Goodwin feels a two-week break will leave Brown fit and ready to go for the rest of the season, starting with next week's match against Collingwood at the MCG.

"We're really confident we're on top of it," Goodwin said.

"It's an ongoing thing he's going to have for the rest of his career. It's something we've had to manage for a long period of time already with Ben.

"It was just getting a little bit sore, a little bit more wear and tear.

"So we wanted to make sure we give it some time off, set him up the right way, get some training to him, and bring him back and get his footy back to where we know he can play.

"We're really confident he'll be back next week."

The Demons will welcome back star defender Jake Lever (shoulder) against the Dockers, while James Jordon has also been cleared to play despite suffering a knee scare against the Bulldogs.

"Jake Lever will be fine to go. He'll train fully today and he will play," Goodwin said.

"(Jordon) had a little medial ligament (injury). He'll train fully today and he'll be right to go.

"It was a pretty nasty little incident, but we're fortunate he got through it ok."

Fremantle will be without skipper Nat Fyfe (hamstring), but forward Rory Lobb is expected to return from a shoulder injury.

The second-placed Demons (13-5) have lost five of their past eight matches, and a defeat to Fremantle would leave their top-four hopes in jeopardy.

Goodwin is urging his players to regain their ruthlessness in defence after giving up 110 points to the Bulldogs last week.

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