Fresh AFL injury blow for Demons' Bennell

Shayne Hope
Melbourne's Harley Bennell has suffered another injury blow with the AFL season a week away

Harley Bennell has suffered a fresh setback in his AFL comeback bid with Melbourne.

The unlucky midfielder reported soreness in a calf muscle at training last weekend and scans have since confirmed yet another strain.

In a further blow to the Demons, Christian Salem has been diagnosed with a mild case of glandular fever.

Salem pulled out of last week's practice match against Hawthorn but remains in contention for selection in Melbourne's season opener against West Coast on March 22.

Bennell suffered a similar calf muscle setback in January before signing with Melbourne - his third AFL club - as a pre-season supplemental selection.

The 27-year-old's immediate future remains unclear but the Demons remain firm in their support for the talented on-baller.

"While disappointing to have this occur again, we deliberately set expectations on Harley conservatively, allowing for some setbacks," Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney told SEN.

Bennell, taken by Gold Coast as the No.2 draft pick in 2010, has not played at AFL level since managing two games with Fremantle at the end of 2017.