Interrupted prep no excuse for Demons

Shayne Hope
The Demons are confident of providing Geelong a stern test despite not playing Essendon last week

Melbourne won't make any excuses around their disrupted preparation as they restart a stuttering AFL campaign in Sunday's meeting with Geelong.

The Demons head into the MCG clash having played just one match in the space of three months, after last week's fixture against Essendon was postponed indefinitely in the wake of Conor McKenna's positive COVID-19 result.

An internal scratch match was hastily arranged in its place.

"I'm not going to sit here and complain about the situation that we found ourselves in," Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said.

"It's not ideal, it's not perfect, but this season's not perfect and we've got to adapt and deal with it as best we can and look forward to what we can achieve."

The Demons enjoyed relative luxury in spreading out across three ovals for contact training in small groups at their temporary Casey Fields base on Thursday.

Former captain Nathan Jones continued to push his selection case after missing out on the team that was picked to play Essendon.

The experienced midfielder was managing an Achilles and calf complaint before the season restart.

"He's working incredibly hard and probably in the last four or five days he's started to turn his training around and put himself back in the selection mix," Goodwin said.

"He's certainly available for us if we decide to go that way.

"If not, we'll continue to make sure that he's got his Achilles and his calf right and get him up to full fitness."

Pre-season recruit Harley Bennell made his long-awaited AFL return and Melbourne debut in the round-two win over Carlton but is still being monitored closely by Demons fitness staff after a succession of soft-tissue injuries that threatened his career.

Goodwin said Bennell will be fit to play against Geelong but cannot guarantee the smooth-moving midfielder's selection every week.

"There's clearly a lot of expectations on Harley to be in the team every week but that certainly won't be the case.

"He's a player that we want to see as a long-term player and a player that we want to make sure he can sustain the full rigours of an AFL season.

"He's still working his way back to that full fitness and full form that he knows he's capable of ... and he's progressing well."