Salem's trials and tribulations at fitness camp
AFL: Melbourne young gun Christian Salem has opened up on the bizarre concussion he suffered during the club's torturous army-style camp, claiming his brick-filled bag "wasn't packed right".
Salem was hit in the head by a brick during the Demons' torturous two-day pre-Christmas adventure, which saw the playing list take part in pack marches and several psychological challenges, such as a sleep deprivation test.
Salem was one of two casualties to emerge from the camp - gun on-baller Dom Tyson dislocated his patella tendon - but recovered quickly to return to the main training group.
Despite knocking himself out, Salem said he remembered everything about the "unfortunate" incident, adding that the brick simply "hit me in the wrong spot".
"At the time we were hiking and the bag wasn't packed right. Then I went to lift (the backpack) up and (the brick) hit me in the back of the head as we were going downhill. That didn't help," Salem told the club's website.
"But I'm fine now. Back to full training (on Tuesday), so I've pretty much been able to do everything. The last few weeks there wasn't much contact, but pretty much good to go now"
The head hit was an ill-timed blow for Salem, who had been training - and impressing - among the Demons' midfield group following a nightmare 2016 campaign.
A debilitating thyroid problem, two concussions and patchy form restricted the left-footer to just eight senior games for the season.
The thyroid issue, which saw Salem's resting heart rate triple, was the biggest hindrance, sidelining him for seven rounds.
"The first seven games I played of the season were OK, (but) wasn't the best," Salem said.
"But then I got the news on my thyroid and that was having an effect on the game.
"At least that sort of explains why I wasn't playing how I wanted to play.
"I missed a chunk of the year and it was just unfortunate that happened. But I've got it all under control now, so hopefully move forward this year."
With the club hoping to break a 10-year finals drought, Salem said there was an exciting vibe at the club, especially after adding ex-Hawk Jordan Lewis, ex-Dee Michael Hibberd and new coach Simon Goodwin.
"They're great additions and the main thing for us is getting that consistency and get off to a good start to the year," Salem said.
"We're all getting along well and we're all on the same page, so we're all ready to get stuck into it."