Adam Goodes’ already-mighty reputation at Sydney has risen further, thanks to how he has handled his brief AFL exile.
The two-time Brownlow Medallist is back in the Swans side for Saturday’s match against the Western Bulldogs at the SCG after two games in the NEAFL.
Goodes opted to be dropped rather than have the substitute role as he tried to regain form.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the way that he’s applied himself and carried himself the last few weeks,” Swans midfielder Josh Kennedy said on Thursday before the teams were announced.
“He’s an absolute star and just gained more respect, if that’s even possible, for the way he’s carried himself the last few weeks.
“We all want him back in the side.”
While Goodes is a welcome return, star Geelong recruit Mitch Clark sent a shudder through the game when he was ruled out of Saturday’s MCG match against Richmond with a foot injury.
Clark had a terrible run with foot problems at Melbourne and then retired from the game because of depression.
He has impressed since returning to the AFL with the Cats this season.
They said Clark has soreness in his left foot and he was rested as a precaution.
Tom Lonergan, Dawson Simpson and Shane Kersten are in, with Rhys Stanley (soreness) and newcomer Nakia Cockatoo the other omissions.
Richmond are in early trouble and made five changes.
Troy Chaplin, Ty Vickery, Chris Newman and Ben Lennon were recalled, while Corey Ellis will make his senior debut.
Ben Griffiths (calf), Nathan Gordon (quad), Nathan Drummond (knee), Matt McDonough and Matt Arnot are out of the team.
Brett Deledio (calf) remains out of the side.
Carlton star Chris Judd will return from a game out with back tightness for Friday night’s historic game against Collingwood at the MCG.
The Blues’ Mick Malthouse will break the long-standing record of Jock McHale when he coaches his 715th AFL game.
Collingwood star Dane Swan (ankle) was named, despite needing a moon boot earlier this week.
Ex-GWS onballer Mark Whiley will play his first game for the Blues and Kristian Jaksch is also back.
The Blues lost Andrew Carrazzo (leg), while wayward-kicking forward Levi Casboult and newcomer Matthew Dick were dropped.
Brisbane dropped star second-year player James Aish for the second time this season as speculation continues about his future.
Brent Staker will take his place for Saturday’s bottom-of-the-table match against Gold Coast.
The Suns named Henry Schade and Josh Glenn for their senior debuts and Jarrod Harbrow and Jesse Lonergan also return.
Nick Malceski (knee), David Swallow (knee), Zac Smith and Aaron Hall are out.
Hawthorn recalled Ryan Schoenmakers and Liam Shiels for Saturday night’s big game against North Melbourne.
Schoenmakers comes in for Brian Lake (knee) and Brendan Whitecross was left out.
The `Roos recalled Jamie Macmillan for Trent Dumont.
While Goodes is back for the Swans, they will be without star first-year player Isaac Heeney (ankle).
Tom Mitchell and Dean Towers are the other inclusions, with Ben McGlynn and Harry Cunningham dropped.
The `Dogs promoted Fletcher Roberts for Jarrad Grant.
West Coast named Luke Shuey (ankle) for Saturday night’s home game against GWS, but lost Matt Rosa (hamstring).
Patrick McGinnity, Jamie Bennell and Callum Sinclair will return as Scott Lycett was dropped and Jackson Nelson was rested.
Will Hoskin-Elliott returns for injured Giant Rhys Palmer.
Sunday’s squads feature Essendon veteran Paul Chapman sidelined because of a groin injury and Port Adelaide star Robbie Gray returning against Adelaide.