Hawthorn have declared Luke Hodge “ready to go” after naming the skipper for Sunday’s AFL clash with Gold Coast at Aurora Stadium.
Hodge hasn’t played since injuring his knee in round six, but he’s been declared a certain starter against the Suns after being named in Hawthorn’s extended squad.
“Hodgey has been doing full training for the last five weeks,” Hawthorn football operations manager Chris Fagan said.
“Physically he’s in really good shape and ready to go.
“He got the tick off from the doctors, physios and fitness staff – so he’s 100 per cent right and looking forward to getting back out there.”
Will Langford, Kaiden Brand and Brendan Whitecross have also been named in Hawthorn’s extended squad, with Cyril Rioli to miss due to personal reasons.
The Suns recalled midfielder Aaron Hall after sending him back to the NEAFL to work on his game, but Kade Kolodjashnij (concussion), Sean Lemmens (hamstring) and Jesse Lonergan (illness) were all ruled out.
Brisbane’s bid to end their nine-match losing run was dealt a huge blow when star midfielder Dayne Zorko was ruled out of Saturday’s clash with Richmond at the MCG due to personal reasons.
Tom Cutler (hamstring), Ryan Harwood (knee), Marco Paparone (omitted) and Claye Beams (omitted) also drop out of the squad, with the Lions recalling Daniel McStay, Harris Andrews, Rhys Mathieson, Josh Green and Matthew Hammelmann.
The Tigers replaced Daniel Rioli (family funeral) and Corey Ellis (groin) with Connor Menadue and Nick Vlastuin, who has recovered from a recent bout of concussion.
GWS received a huge double boost with the return of Shane Mumford (ankle) and Steve Johnson (foot) for Saturday’s clash with Carlton at Spotless Stadium.
Rhys Palmer also returns to the side following his 52-possession game in the NEAFL, with Sam Reid, Tom Downie, and Jacob Hopper dropping out.
Carlton lost Daniel Gorringe (hip) and Dennis Armfield (groin) to injury, with the pair replaced by Andrew Phillips and Jason Tutt.
St Kilda were bolstered by the return of fit-again skipper Nick Riewoldt, while Paddy McCartin was also named.
The Cats made just one change, replacing injured midfielder Josh Caddy (knee) with Cameron Guthrie.
Collingwood spearhead Travis Cloke was amongst three inclusions for Friday night’s clash with Fremantle at the MCG.
Nathan Brown and James Aish also return to the squad, with Jarrod Witts and Jack Frost dropped in the wake of the club’s three-match losing run.
Ben Crocker was ruled out with a knee injury.
The Dockers replaced injured forward Tanner Smith (hamstring) with ruckman Jack Hannath as they attempt to notch their fourth straight win.