Mixed injury news for Demons stars Oliver and Salem

Shayne Hope |

Clayton Oliver has had surgery on the finger that necessitated a protective glove against Brisbane.
Clayton Oliver has had surgery on the finger that necessitated a protective glove against Brisbane.

Melbourne star Clayton Oliver has undergone surgery on his troublesome finger while teammate Christian Salem will miss at least the next four weeks of the AFL season with a hamstring injury.

Oliver had a minor procedure on Friday to alleviate pain in the finger he damaged at training last month.

The gun midfielder is not expected to miss any matches, with Melbourne having a bye in round six before taking on Richmond at the MCG on April 24.

But the outlook is not so good for Salem, who injured his right hamstring in Thursday night’s 22-point loss to the Brisbane Lions.

It is the latest in a growing list of setbacks for the 28-year-old since he starred in the Demons’ 2021 grand final win.

“This is unfortunate for Christian, who is such an important player in our team,” Melbourne’s general manager of AFL performance Alan Richardson said.

“Christian has had his fair share of injury battles, so while this is another frustrating setback for him, we know he will attack his rehab with the utmost professionalism.

“He is as resilient as they come.

“At this stage, we expect him to miss approximately four to six weeks, given the nature of the injury.”

Oliver missed an extended period of last year with a hamstring injury and endured a turbulent off-season, during which he spent time away from the club for personal reasons.

The 26-year-old returned to action in fine style over the opening month of the 2024 campaign but has been managing a finger issue in recent weeks, wearing a glove in games as protection.

“The required surgery will alleviate some pain Clayton has been experiencing, which will allow him to play and perform at his best for the rest of the season,” Richardson said.

“With the extended break we have before our next match, and with everything going to plan, we expect Clayton not to miss any footy and to be available for our round-seven clash against Richmond.”