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Three Jacks back, Jeff in attack as Demons plan for Power

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Melbourne expect goalsneak Jeff Garlett to face Port Adelaide tomorrow despite spending time away for personal reasons.

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Garlett had been in doubt after travelling home to Western Australia directly after the Dees’ game in Darwin last Saturday night to deal with the death of a family member.

The 27-year-old underwent a light individual training session this morning, a day after returning to Melbourne.

With 32 goals for the season so far, Garlett’s presence is much-needed given tall forwards Jesse Hogan and Jack Watts are both on the comeback trail from injury layoffs.

“He’s good to go,” coach Simon Goodwin said today.

“He had some personal issues back in Perth. We worked really closely with Jeff, and very respectful of what he was going through back in Perth.

“Yesterday he made a real commitment to the team and flew back, and he’s really looking forward to playing.

“It’s the first time we’ll wear our indigenous jumper at the MCG so for Jeff to be a part of that is just terrific.”

Seventh-placed Melbourne will be hoping the return of several stars can change their fortunes after a challenging month.

The Dees copped a 46-point hiding from Adelaide last week, limped over the line against an inexperienced Carlton in round 16 and lost to Sydney the week before that.

A loss to the Power could result in Melbourne falling out of the top eight, while a win could propel them into the top four.

Melbourne co-captain Jack Viney is on the verge of making a speedy comeback after foot surgery.

Jack Watts will also return to bolster their attack, while forgotten former co-captain Jack Trengove will play his first senior game this season.

The Demons also regain Dom Tyson and Christian Salem.

Bernie Vince is suspended and Dean Kent has a shoulder injury, while Cam Pedersen, Josh Wagner and Joel Smith have been dropped.

Fourth-placed Port – a game and percentage ahead of Melbourne – recalled Matthew Broadbent and dropped Jasper Pittard.

Viney’s return comes less than three weeks after he underwent surgery on a plantar fascia injury on his right foot.

“He prepares like no other, and his rehab and recovery has been unbelievable,” Goodwin said.

“He set his sights really early on to play this game. He’s done everything right, he’s a true professional and I think it just shows the character of the guy.

“He trained incredibly well yesterday and he’s raring to go and put out his best performance as possible tomorrow.”

-AAP

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