With his injury behind him, Nathan Wilson will return to give Greater Western Sydney a timely defensive boost against Port Adelaide.
Wilson has been struggling with groin soreness since before the round 15 bye, confined to the sidelines for the last two games.
But the speedy 23-year-old will be back in action for Sunday’s crunch clash at Adelaide Oval, with coach Leon Cameron confirming he’ll step in to replace injured midfielder Jack Steele.
Steele fractured his hand during an awkward landing in last weekend’s 79-point demolition of lowly Brisbane.
Coach Leon Cameron said no surgery was required and hoped the 20-year-old would be right to face Richmond next week.
“Nathan Wilson will come into the 22, and that’s most likely the only change at this stage,” Cameron said on Friday.
“The guys who performed last week (against Brisbane), we were all really happy with their effort and energy.”
Wilson’s excellent form in his fifth AFL season has not been lost on Cameron, who observed rapid improvements.
“It happened halfway through last year and he’s just continued,” the coach said.
“He came back with a hungry attitude, won a spot and has held it.
“We obviously see a lot of run and carry from him but he’s got a really good rapport with his teammates and he’s a fine young leader, which probably surprises a lot of people.
“He’s got a huge challenge on guys like (Jarman) Impey, (Chad) Wingard and (Jake) Neade.”
Cameron was pleased with the way the squad stepped it up against the Lions on Sunday in response to their shock loss to Collingwood the week prior.
The 79-point win lifted GWS back into the top four, but to stay there they’ll have to defeat a physical Port side who stunned North Melbourne last Saturday.
Cameron predicted a “good ding-dong battle” between ruckmen Shane Mumford and Jackson Trengove and an all-round aggressive contest against the Power’s top-line midfield.
“What they produced against the Kangaroos last week was probably their best performance for the year,” Cameron said.
“There’s no doubt they play a physical brand of footy, and we feel we’ve improved dramatically in that area.
“To beat Port you’ve got to be tough and hard, and I don’t think we’d want it any other way.
“The challenge for us is: can we back it up from last week?”