GF selection heartache looms for Demons

Melbourne forward Tom McDonald says it’s “horrible” to think about the selection heartache that some of his teammates will experience this week, but he’s adamant forward Charlie Spargo won’t be one of them.

© Rob Prezioso/AAP PHOTOS Melbourne forward Charlie Spargo remains in doubt for Saturday’s AFL decider against the Bulldogs.

Spargo injured his left ankle during a tackling drill on Saturday, and he was a mere on-field spectator while his teammates trained at HBF Arena in Joondalup on Monday.

The 21-year-old wasn’t even kitted up for the session, and instead talked to teammates and the club’s trainers while decked out in shorts, a shirt, and sneakers.

The Demons have previously said that Spargo isn’t in doubt for the decider at Optus Stadium, and McDonald is confident his teammate will get up for the big game.

“He’s going to be fine,” McDonald said.

“Guys who have a normal rolled ankle, they never run on a Monday, probably not on a Tuesday, and you try to get them to train on the Wednesday.

“There’ll be absolutely no way he’d miss it. He didn’t need a scan, they tape it up pretty tight, and worst case scenario he’d have some pain killers for the game.”

Being under an injury cloud leading up to a grand final isn’t ideal but McDonald said there could be some perks for Spargo, who he rates as the best kick in the team.

“Sometimes I find when you have a minor injury, it can almost take your mind away from a bit of the stress,” McDonald said.

“I don’t think he’ll have any issues. It’s not going to be something that really nags him and affects him physically too much.”

Key defender Steven May, who injured his hamstring in the preliminary final win over Geelong, was able to complete the low-key session on Monday without any issues.

Dashing defender Christian Salem was on light duties, but McDonald was quick to allay any injury fears.

“I think he’s always just managed his groins through the year,” McDonald said.

“He missed a week mid-season, and they’ve always just tried to make sure he doesn’t roll into that stage he did in the middle of the year where he had to miss a game.

“That’s pretty standard for him.”

One of the big selection calls facing Melbourne this week is whether to recall fit-again defender Joel Smith.

Smith missed the preliminary final against Geelong with a hamstring injury, and his replacement Michael Hibberd was a solid performer against the Cats.

Jayden Hunt and Jake Melksham are other players trying to force their way back into the side, while preliminary final sub James Jordon faces a nervous wait to see if he’s included again.

Veteran Nathan Jones will definitely miss out after returning to Melbourne to be present for the birth of his twins.

“It’s horrible really that someone has to miss out somewhere,” McDonald said.

“There’s probably five or six guys who could lay claim to a spot in the side, and you really feel for guys who miss out.

“I’ve got no idea what they’re going to do (with selection), but somebody is going to be pretty disappointed.”

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