It hasn’t been a kind week for veterans at North Melbourne, but Shaun Higgins has bucked the trend after being named for Saturday night’s crunch AFL clash with GWS at Etihad Stadium.
Just a day after quartet Brent Harvey, Michael Firrito, Nick Dal Santo and Drew Petrie were told they wouldn’t earn new deals for 2017, Higgins was named for his first match since round seven.
The 28-year-old had missed the past 14 games after undergoing knee surgery, but the Kangaroos are confident Higgins is ready for a return.
Luke McDonald was also included after recovering from a hamstring injury, but Scott Thompson misses with an adductor complaint.
The Bulldogs have left Jake Stringer out in the cold for a second straight week, with the forward unable to squeeze into the 25-man squad for Sunday’s clash with Fremantle in Perth.
Stringer tallied 21 disposals and a goal in the VFL last week, but it wasn’t enough to earn him a recall.
Defenders Dale Morris (hamstring injury) and Matthew Suckling (achilles) return from injury, while ruckman Will Minson and Tom Campbell have been included in the extended squad after Jordan Roughead (calf) and Easton Wood (ankle) were ruled out.
The Dockers welcome back Matthew Pavlich for his 353rd and final AFL match, while Aaron Sandilands (glute) also returns amongst a host of changes.
Journeyman ruckman Jonathan Giles has won the race to replace injured West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui for Friday night’s blockbuster against the Crows at Adelaide Oval.
The Crows have recalled Ricky Henderson and Cam Ellis-Yolmen, but will be without suspended midfielder Rory Sloane and defender Brodie Smith (concussion).
Collingwood have recalled Travis Cloke for what could be his last game in Magpies colours.
Cloke, retiring midfielder Brent Macaffer, Tyson Goldsack and Jarrod Witts have all been named in the 25-man squad for Sunday’s clash with Hawthorn at the MCG, with Darcy Moore (hamstring) forced out.
Hawthorn have named ruckmen Jack Fitzpatrick and Marc Pittonet as they attempt to find a way to replace Jonathon Ceglar (knee).
Hawks premiership forward Ryan Schoenmakers has been named for the first time since round three, after overcoming a groin injury.
Sydney have been bolstered by the return of co-captain Kieren Jack (ankle), but Callum Mills (calf) will miss Saturday’s clash with Richmond.
Buddy Franklin has been passed fit to play despite battling a hip injury last week.
The Tigers will unveil Sudanese-born big man Mabior Chol for his debut.
Geelong have been boosted by the return of key trio Jimmy Bartel, Josh Caddy and Daniel Menzel for Saturday’s encounter against Melbourne.
Brendon Goddard returns for Essendon’s match against Carlton, but Adam Cooney drops out after playing his retirement match last week.
Gold Coast were dealt three more injury blows when Jarrod Harbrow (hand), Sean Lemmens (concussion) and Jarrod Garlett (shoulder) were all ruled out of Saturday’s home match against Port Adelaide.
St Kilda welcome back Sam Fisher against Brisbane, but Paddy McCartin drops out with a broken collarbone.