Demons' Jackson pressing for AFL return

·2-min read

AFL ladder leaders Melbourne are in the healthy position of having too many options as emerging ruckman Luke Jackson presses his case to return after finger surgery.

Jackson, the No.3 draft pick in 2019, sat out against Carlton last week as the Demons extended their winning streak to nine matches.

His absence paved the way for Sam Weideman to play his first match of the season alongside fellow talls Ben Brown and Tom McDonald in attack.

But Jackson trained well at Casey Fields on Wednesday and appears likely to be available for Saturday's trip to Adelaide Oval to face the Crows.

"He's got to tick through a few more things but he was doing everything today and he looks really promising," Goodwin said.

"We haven't made a decision on that yet, but everything at the moment is looking like he'll get through and then that will give us some selection headaches.

"It is competitive for spots but we'll have to make some decisions."

Weideman went goalless against Carlton but impressed Goodwin as a direct replacement for Jackson in attack and as ruck support for Max Gawn.

"Sam was really strong in the centre square and he competed really strongly," Goodwin said.

"Clearly Luke's an out and out really good second ruck.

"He can change momentum in games, so he's a really important player to us and developing really well.

"But we didn't think we lost much with Sam as a second ruck.

"He contributed really strongly in that phase of the game."

Goodwin said the Demons' 9-0 start to the season will allow them to make "smart decisions" on selection going forward.

Jack Viney has been ruled out again this week as he battles a foot injury, while Nathan Jones will return from a minor hamstring issue via the VFL.

Jones became the second Melbourne player to reach 300 games in round six but faces a fight to work his way back into the side.

"One of the strengths of Nathan is he brings versatility to our team," Goodwin said.

"He can play a number of different roles, whether that be wing, inside (midfield) or half-forward.

"At the moment, it's just highly competitive for outright spots in those positions and he's competing against some guys who are in really good form."