Injuries have savaged the Western Bulldogs for their AFL blockbuster against Geelong, with backline generals Dale Morris and Matthew Boyd joining the casualties.
The Bulldogs were left reeling from last Saturday night’s upset loss to St Kilda and have five forced changes for Friday night’s massive clash at Simonds Stadium.
Boyd has an Achilles injury and Morris had to sit out the second half of the Saints loss with hamstring tightness, plus fellow defender Matt Suckling (Achilles) is also sidelined.
Mitch Wallis (broken leg) and Jack Redpath (knee reconstruction) suffered season-ending injuries during Saturday night’s match.
There is some good news, with star forwards Jake Stringer and Luke Dahlhaus returning.
Stringer missed last weekend with a shoulder problem, while Dahlhaus has recovered from the leg injury that had kept him out of the team since round 12.
Zaine Cordy will also play his first senior game this season and the third of his career.
He and Tom Boyd served club suspensions after a drunken fight at a pub last month that left Cordy needing medical attention.
Jed Adcock and Joel Hamling are the other Bulldogs inclusions.
The Cats recalled ruckman Zac Smith at the expense of forward Shane Kersten.
North Melbourne’s well-documented injury woes are starting to ease, with key forward Jarrad Waite returning from his hip complaint for the big clash on Saturday night against the Saints.
Waite, who has only played once since round 12, will come in for Majak Daw.
The Saints recalled Darren Minchington and dropped Jack Sinclair.
Ladder leaders Hawthorn have lost star utility Paul Puopolo with a hip injury for Saturday’s Launceston game against Carlton.
Onballer Will Langford will return for his first senior game since round 12.
Carlton’s Charlie Curnow has a knee injury and Andrejs Everitt will take his place.
West Coast have made four changes – three of them unforced – for Saturday’s MCG game against Collingwood.
But ruckman Nic Naitanui, on the verge of returning from Achilles surgery, is not among the recalls.
Will Schofield, Mark Hutchings, Simon Tunbridge and Dom Sheed are back in the senior team.
Jack Redden has a shoulder injury, Tom Barrass is being rested and the Eagles have dropped Jonathan Giles and Jackson Nelson.
Alex Fasolo (shoulder), Jarryd Blair (groin) and Ben Sinclair (concussion) are out for the Magpies, with Rupert Wills to make his debut.
Ben Crocker and Jordan De Goey will return.
GWS will regain Ryan Griffen and ruckman Shane Mumford (knee) was also named for Saturday’s Canberra match against Richmond.
The Giants dropped Adam Kennedy.
Richmond named Adam Marcon for his AFL debut among four changes.
Bachar Houli, Ty Vickery and Kane Lambert were recalled, while Shane Edwards (calf) and Ben Griffiths (groin) are injured and Liam McBean and Jason Castagna were dropped.
Brisbane have made five changes for Saturday night’s home game against Port Adelaide, losing Rohan Bewick (groin), Darcy Gardiner (ankle), Josh Schache (soreness) and Reuben William (groin), while Stefan Martin will be rested.
Archie Smith and Sam Skinner were named for their AFL debuts as Michael Close, Lewis Taylor and Nick Robertson were recalled.
Port dropped Jay Schulz and Kane Mitchell for Nathan Krakouer and Karl Amon.