Mercury (Hobart)

Speed Demon well in the Hunt


MELBOURNE speedster Jayden Hunt will need to prove his fitness at training on Tuesday as he pushes to be considered for a preliminar­y final recall against Geelong.

Hunt has missed the Demons’ past three games with an ankle injury but has been working his way back to fitness.

The rebounding defender completed only limited training on Friday when Melbourne hit the track at West Coast’s training base in Perth.

However, he remains in the mix to be considered for selection if he trains strongly this week.

Hunt had played the first 20 games of the season for the Demons, averaging 13.7 disposals, 3.2 marks and 2.3 rebound 50s.

The Demons will be faced with a selection squeeze ahead of Friday night’s clash, with only three other players on their injury list.

Adam Tomlinson (knee), Aaron Nietschke (knee) and Marty Hore (knee) have all been ruled out for the season.

James Jordon was the nonplaying medical substitute in a 33-point qualifying final win over Brisbane, while veterans Nathan Jones, Michael Hibberd and Jake Melksham were all emergencie­s for that clash.

Jones’ wife, Jerri is due to give birth to twins in Melbourne in coming weeks, but the former Demons captain remains in Perth given he is on the cusp of selection.

Geelong will need to make at least one change to its team which toppled Greater West

ern Sydney by 35 points on Friday night after midfielder Brandan Parfitt went down with a hamstring injury in that match.

Zach Guthrie replaced Parfitt as the medical substitute and could come into the starting 22.

But the injury could also open the door for a return for veteran midfielder Shaun Higgins, who was one of three other emergencie­s alongside Sam Simpson and Darcy Fort.

Higgins has been carefully managed over the past month and played as a medical substitute in both round 23 and the Cats’ first final against Port Adelaide.

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