Demons' Oliver to wait one more week for return 118 days ago

Star Melbourne midfielder Clayton Oliver will return from his hamstring injury in the King's Birthday AFL blockbuster against Collingwood.

Oliver was moving well at Monday training, but coach Simon Goodwin said it was too risky to bring him back for Friday night's game against Carlton at the MCG.

"He's progressing really well ... he won't play, but we're really confident he'll play the week after," Goodwin said on Tuesday morning.

"He's too important a player for us to take a really big risk - and Friday night would be a risk.

"We get a pretty extended break the week after. He'll definitely play (against Collingwood)."

The Demons have a 10-day break from Friday night's clash to the annual holiday Monday game against the Magpies.

Oliver hurt his hamstring in the round-10 loss to Port Adelaide.

Melbourne then narrowly lost to Fremantle last weekend and need a win against Carlton, who are struggling with six losses from their last seven games.

Goodwin said there is frustration after two narrow losses, but also realism given they are fourth.

"We're in a pretty strong position, from where we sit, and we're certainly aiming to play our best footy as the year goes on," he said.

"Although we'd like to win, we've lost by a combined total of 11 points ... so we're not that far off.

"We'll certainly keep perspective, that we need to get better."

He noted in the wake of only kicking 10 goals against Fremantle, that the Demons are the second-biggest scoring team so far this season.

"Scoring certainly hasn't been an issue. It's certainly not something that's been at the forefront of my mind and causing me huge concerns," he said.

"We produced a lot of stats that would suggest we'd win a game of footy.

"In the end, we just didn't take the shots that we needed to take.

"When the stats look in your favour, but you don't win the game of footy, that's why it becomes frustrating.

'"We know what they're going through. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it."

Goodwin also rejected the observation that it was a loss to Fremantle around this time last year that broke Melbourne's 10-game winning streak and heralded the start of their late-season problems.

"It's funny - when you get to the same stage and you play the same team, everyone's minds go back to certain stages," he said.

"We're in a different year and ultimately you get judged by what happens at the end of the year.

"But we don't take our minds back to last year - last year is, in a lot of ways, irrelevant."