May had suffered a hamstring injury in the pre-season, then was suspended for the first game, having shown up in a less-than-pristine condition after his summer break – prompting coach Simon Goodwin to say the defender wouldn’t do so again in future.
Jake Lever is slated to return a little later than May, with the Demons saying Lever is four to six weeks from resuming. Both May and Lever would likely need a game at VFL level, too, before they could be brought back.
The Demons are also without their accomplished small defender Neville Jetta, who is expected to miss 10 games following knee surgery.
While Melbourne were ultimately well beaten by Richmond last Wednesday night on Anzac Day eve, they believe there was an improved effort, which was reflected in winning the contested ball tally, even though they struggled badly to score after quarter-time.
While the bottom line was another defeat and the prospect of finals this year becoming remote, there were significant improvements from individuals as Goodwin experimented with players in different roles in an attempt to revitalise his side.
Jake Melsham, usually a deep forward, performed well in the midfield, while Michael Hibberd – who had been badly out of form – was given a run-with role on Richmond star Dustin Martin and was much more effective.
Goodwin also deployed gun midfielder Clayton Oliver in the forward line for a significant period of the Richmond game, in a series of moves that seemed to give the Demons impetus early in the match before the sharper Richmond asserted dominance, first in territory and then eventually on the scoreboard, reflected in the final margin of 43 points.