Harris under AFLW grand final injury cloud

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Melbourne are confident star forward Tayla Harris will be fit for the AFLW grand final against the Brisbane Lions despite concerns over a shoulder injury.


Harris hurt her left shoulder in a ruck contest during the first quarter of Saturday's 17-point win over North Melbourne, which put the Demons into a second straight season decider.

The 25-year-old was assessed on the bench and returned after quarter time, playing out the rest of the preliminary final.

But she had little impact as a permanent forward, held scoreless and finishing with just four disposals.

Demons coach Mick Stinear shifted Eden Zanker into the back-up ruck role behind Lauren Pearce in order to protect Harris.

"There was a bit of discomfort during the game but she fought through it really well," Stinear said.

"We took her out of the ruck just to limit the contact and really try to use her as a weapon forward.

"It gave Eden a chance to go in there, who was moving a bit more freely.

"(Harris) is OK, but it was certainly uncomfortable for the majority of the game.

"Credit to her to keep competing and I can't see her wanting to miss out next week."

Harris has eight days to recover before the grand final against her former side at Brighton Homes Arena on Sunday week, and the Demons have no other injury concerns.

Harris and Sinead Goldrick were both missing from the Melbourne side when they were outclassed by Brisbane in round four.

The Demons have since won eight straight games by an average margin of 43 points.

"We learnt so much out of that (round four) game, which was a bit of a reality check," Stinear said.

"It sort of spring-boarded the rest of our season by showing up our flaws.

"The group tends to respond well when we're challenged by the best teams."

Harris began her AFLW career with the Lions and spent four seasons with Carlton before joining Melbourne this year.

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