Redden, McVeigh back for round two of AFL

Port Adelaide’s blockbuster battle with Sydney will double as ruckman Jarrad Redden’s first AFL game in 679 days.

It’s only round two, but Saturday night’s Adelaide Oval clash is being billed as a finals appetiser.

For injury-plagued Redden, it will be a fairytale return.

Redden had shoulder, hip and knee surgery during 2013, then needed two knee operations in 2014.

With Power ruckman Matthew Lobbe yet to be passed fit, Redden was recalled on Thursday at the expense of John Butcher.

The Swans also made one change, with co-captain Jarrad McVeigh back from a calf injury and Harry Cunningham the unlucky midfielder to make way.

“He understands the game, he sees it very well and it has been good to get another good week of training under his belt,” coach John Longmire said of McVeigh, who missed the side’s season-opening win over Essendon.

“He is a very good player.”

Melbourne duo Chris Dawes and Bernie Vince, Hawthorn’s Grant Birchall, Geelong veteran Andrew Mackie and Gold Coast key forward Tom Lynch headline the other notable names returning in round two.

Reigning premiers Hawthorn will make at least one change to the side that thumped Geelong by 62 points, with midfielder Liam Shiels out due to a hamstring injury.

Three-time premiership player Birchall is the pick of the four men added to their squad for Sunday’s match against Essendon.

Melbourne squeezed Jimmy Toumpas and Jay Kennedy-Harris out of the team that defeated Gold Coast, paving the way for Dawes and Vince to play in Saturday’s clash with Greater Western Sydney in Canberra.

The Suns made three changes after their defeat, with Lynch, Seb Tape and Sean Lemmens back for Trent McKenzie, Daniel Gorringe and Matt Shaw (suspension).

The Cats dumped Steven Motlop due to discipline reasons, adding Mackie, Rhys Stanley, George Horlin-Smith and Jordan Murdoch to their squad for Sunday’s match against Fremantle.

Former Saints Stanley and James Gwilt are among a handful of players in line to make club debuts on the weekend.

Gwilt and former Adelaide ruckman Shaun McKernan were included in Essendon’s 25-man squad, while GWS’s No.2 draft pick of 2012 Jono O’Rourke could play his first game as a Hawk.

Carlton called up ex-Western Bulldog Jason Tutt and Levi Casboult for Friday night’s game against West Coast, who will be without Sam Butler (adductor), Mitch Brown (knee) and Scott Selwood (ankle) in Perth.

Richmond’s Kane Lambert will make his debut on Saturday against the Bulldogs in the absence of suspended playmaker Brett Deledio.

Collingwood, who face Adelaide at home on Saturday, called on Tim Broomhead and Paul Seedsman to replace Steele Sidebottom (hand) and Jordan De Goey.

The Bulldogs and Crows both made one change.

Ayce Cordy is in for Jack Redpath, while Mitch Grigg was promoted at the expense of Jarryd Lyons.

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