Richmond and Carlton will likely be without at least one star for this week’s game, while the the latter has called on its mid-season draftee.
Plus the Giants could welcome back a host of big names.
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carlton has confirmed that mid-season draftee Sam Durdin will make his debut for the club in Thursday’s blockbuster clash against Richmond some 15 days after he was drafted with the No. 13 selection.
The 26-year old key defender, who played two seasons for SANFL team Glenelg after he was delisted by North Melbourne at the end of 2020 after 22 games, comes into the Blues side after just one VFL hitout.
He gets his chance after Caleb Marchbank’s luckless run with injury continued after the intercepting defender suffered a meniscus tear in first AFL game in over 1000 days, ruling him out for up to eight weeks.
Marchbank underwent assessment on Monday for a knee complaint and ultimately had surgery on Tuesday afternoon.
He joined Jacob Weitering (shoulder), Mitch McGovern (hamstring), oscar mcdonald (back)and Luke Parks (foot) on the sidelines with long-term injuries.
In other bad news, Adam Cerra has suffered a low-grade hamstring injury, with scans confirming it after he was subbed off in the first quarter of last week’s win with a hamstring concern.
He’s expected to miss two games.
Their opponent richmond will welcome Kane Lambert back into the starting 22 for the huge clash.
Lambert has been managing a hip complaint all season, and was the Tigers’ starting sub last week in their win over Port Adelaide.
But coach Damien Hardwick said Lambert was “a lot better this week”.
It comes after Hardwick admitted three-time Norm Smith medallist Dustin Martin is “doubtful” for this Thursday’s clash as he deals with flu-like symptoms.
After returning from personal leave in round eight, Martin has played in the last four weeks, but is suffering from illness not covid-related, Hardwick said on AFL 360.
“He’s got a bit of a lurgy, so straight after this I’ll get around to his place to rub some vix on his chest and make sure he gets up,” he joked.
“He didn’t train today, he’s not particularly well at the moment, there’s a bit of a flu going around.
“He’s got a couple of days to get better and hopefully with some medication he gets up and about.
“He’s probably doubtful at this stage but we’ll see how he goes, he’s a pretty fair beast Dustin, a 30 per cent Dustin Martin is probably better than most so we’ll give him every opportunity.”
GWS continue to gather momentum in their post-Leon Cameron era, with star defender Nick Haynes and ruckman Braydon Preuss both in line to return against the Western Bulldogs after getting through their VFL hitouts.
They could be joined by gun midfielder Tim Taranto (back) and former captain Phil Davis (hamstring), while youngster Xavier O’Halloran is pushing for senior selection as well.
But it’s not all good news for the Giants who will be without Matt DeBoer (concussion) and Harry Perryman (broken ribs) who both injured themselves in their big win over North Melbourne last round.
St Kilda may be forced into at least three changes for Friday night’s game against Essendon, headlined by midfielder zak jones.
Jones was ruled out from further action during Saturday night’s loss to Brisbane Lions with a hamstring concern and, while scans have cleared him of damage, will have to get through training in order to be available for selection.
Mitch Owens and Daniel McKenzie were the other two blows on a brutal night, with both now in the AFL’s concussion protocols and automatically ruled out for this week.
Jack Billings continue to work his way back into form after a long injury layoff, while hunter clark is also in his frame for a senior return.
North Melbourne will be without captain jack ziebell for the next four-to-five weeks, with the 31-year old requiring surgery on a facial fracture.
Ziebell suffered the fracture late in Sunday’s loss to Greater Western Sydney and had played every game up until this point of the season.
West Coast Eagles coach Adam Simpson says first-year defender Rhett Bazzo isn’t far off making an AFL debut and will be considered for selection this week.
Bazzo was taken with pick No.37 in last year’s draft, but is yet to make his senior debut despite the Eagles using 43 players this season.
Having enjoyed a much-needed bye, West Coast hosts Geelong at Optus Stadium on Saturday, with Simpson suggesting finding a balance between experience and youth will be a key challenge in the second-half of the season.
“We’ve got a few guys on the back nine and respecting their careers and where they’re at and exposing our younger players is what we’ll work through in the back half of the year,” he said.
“There’s 10 games to go and I’m hoping to get the balance right where some weeks we’ll get a different look with the youth and some weeks we’ll get a different look with the players who deserve to play or have been around and been champions of the game.”
Jeremy McGovern, Liam Ryan, Willie Rioli, Dom Sheed and Elliot Yeo are all expected to be available for selection against the Cats.