Gold Coast stars Gary Ablett and David Swallow will make timely AFL returns for a beleaguered club in desperate need of good news.
They were named for Saturday’s home game against North Melbourne on the same day teammate Harley Bennell was stood down because of a drugs scandal.
The Suns listed the reason for Bennell’s exclusion from the team as “wellbeing”.
Photos were published of Bennell allegedly taking illicit drugs two years ago.
That bombshell follows last weekend’s publication of allegations by former player Karmichael Hunt about illicit drug use among Suns players at the end of last season.
On the field, Gold Coast are last and have sorely missed Ablett and Swallow.
Ablett, Gold Coast’s captain, has not played since round two because of ongoing shoulder problems.
Swallow, last year’s club best-and-fairest winner, was forced out after round four with a knee injury.
The Suns have also recalled Keegan Brooksby and Aaron Hall.
Jarrod Harbrow has an ankle injury, while Andrew Raines and Sean Lemmens have been dropped.
North have promoted Majak Daw for his first senior game this season, dropping Ben Brown.
Other significant inclusions this week include Melbourne key forward Jesse Hogan, Geelong star Jimmy Bartel and Collingwood father-son pick Darcy Moore.
Hawthorn three-time premiership player Jarryd Roughead and Western Bulldogs key forward Tom Boyd headline the casualties.
Roughead is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery on Wednesday to remove a melanoma from his lip.
The Hawks have also lost key defender James Frawley (shoulder) for Friday night’s clash against Collingwood, but regain Cyril Rioli.
Matt Spangher and Ryan Schoenmakers come in to replace Roughead and Frawley, with Billy Hartung dropped.
Moore and teammate Brayden Maynard will make their senior debuts for the ‘Pies who have lost Tyson Goldsack (knee) and dropped Paul Seedsman.
Injury-plagued GWS regain Tom Scully, Curtly Hampton, Adam Kennedy and Tom Downie for Saturday’s massive game against Richmond, who are unchanged.
Nick Haynes (groin) is out and the Giants have dropped Tom Bugg, Nathan Wilson and Josh Kelly.
Boyd has knee soreness and is among three changes for the ‘Dogs.
Caleb Daniel is promoted for his AFL debut and the Bulldogs have also recalled Jack Redpath and Mitch Honeychurch.
They have dropped Lukas Webb and Bailey Dale.
The Blues lose Andrew Carrazzo (toe), Troy Menzel (knee) and Sam Docherty (hamstring), with Michael Jamison, Blaine Boekhorst and Blaine Johnson returning.
Hogan and Colin Garland are included for Heritier Lumumba (foot) and Aidan Riley ahead of Melbourne’s Saturday night game against West Coast in Darwin.
The Eagles have recalled Sam Butler for Matt Rosa.
Bartel leads the inclusions for Geelong’s extended squad ahead of the Sunday away game against Adelaide.