- Hamstring woes for veterans Bob Murphy and Gary Ablett
- Jesse Hogan in Melbourne squad after recovery from cancer
- Scott Thompson picked for his first match for Crows in 2017
THE WESTERN Bulldogs have suffered a blow with captain Bob Murphy set for another stint on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, but the Dogs will welcome back four premiership players for their Friday night clash with Adelaide.
In other major news from the round 16 teams, Gold Coast champion Gary Ablett is out with a hamstring strain and Melbourne has recalled Jesse Hogan for his first game since undergoing surgery for his testicular cancer.
Murphy, who only returned to the Dogs' line-up last week after a four-week stint on the sidelines with a hamstring strain, has been ruled out of the vital meeting at Adelaide Oval.
Tom Campbell (abdominal strain) and Shane Biggs (calf) will also miss through injury, while Tory Dickson has been omitted.
However, Matthew Boyd, who will break the all-time record for games by a rookie (291), has been recalled after his stay in the VFL, and Tom Liberatore, Fletcher Roberts and Clay Smith are back.
The Crows have picked veteran Scott Thompson for his first game of the season, alongside Andy Otten and Charlie Cameron. Jono Beech has been omitted, Hugh Greenwood rested and Kyle Hartigan (hamstring) is set for six weeks on the sidelines.
Sydney youngster Callum Mills has been named for the Swans' clash with Gold Coast at the SCG on Saturday despite being concussed by the Demons' Tom Bugg last week.
The Swans will go into the clash unchanged, but the Suns have lost superstar midfielder Ablett with a hamstring strain. Pearce Hanley (hamstring) and Jack Leslie will also miss, with Trent McKenzie, Darcy MacPherson and Jack Bowes picked for the clash.
Brisbane Lions captain Dayne Beams is set for a surprise return against Geelong on Saturday night, making a quicker-than-expected comeback from his shoulder injury.
The star midfielder was set for a month on the sidelines after suffering an AC joint injury in round 14 and missed last week's shock win over Essendon at Etihad Stadium.
But the former Collingwood star is among two changes for the Lions this week, coming into the side alongside forward Matt Hammelmann. Darcy Gardiner is out with his elbow injury while Jake Barrett has been dropped.
Geelong skipper Joel Selwood returns from last week's concussion and Brandan Parfitt has also been recalled, while Aaron Black and Sean Simpson have been dropped.
Collingwood has recalled premiership backman Ben Reid after he was dropped last week and will also have Travis Varcoe back for the Pies' clash with the Bombers on Saturday at the MCG. Josh Smith is also in, but the Magpies have lost Darcy Moore (hamstring) and Tom Phillips (illness), while Jackson Ramsay has been omitted.
Essendon has made just one change after losing to the bottom-placed Lions last week, replacing Kyle Langford with David Myers.
St Kilda leader Mav Weller and tough midfielder Luke Dunstan have been dropped by the Saints for Saturday night's clash with Richmond. Jimmy Webster is also out with suspension, with Shane Savage, Daniel McKenzie and Ben Long coming in.
Richmond has made just one change, swapping Oleg Markov, who was dropped, for former Cat Taylor Hunt.
Greater Western Sydney forward Steve Johnson will miss Saturday's meeting with Hawthorn in Tasmania with knee soreness, joining youngster Jeremy Finlayson (knee) on the sidelines.
Former Docker Tendai Mzungu will play his first senior game since tearing his hamstring in round one, and first-year defender Harry Perryman has been recalled.
Kade Stewart has replaced Grant Birchall (knee) as the only change for Hawthorn.
Connor Blakely has earned a recall after serving his one-match in-house suspension for breaking team protocol, while Stephen Hill has also been named for the Dockers' clash with North Melbourne on Sunday.
Shane Kersten, Josh Deluca and possible debutant Ryan Nyhuis are also in the extended squad, with Hill and Blakely confirmed starters. Cam McCarthy (suspension) and Aaron Sandilands (hamstring) are the only outs so far.
North will blood debutant Dan Nielson as one of at least three changes for the Etihad Stadium game. Ben Cunnington will also return, while Trent Dumont, Braydon Preuss, Jy Simpkin and possible debutant Cam Zurhaar are in the Roos' extended squad.
They have lost Jarrad Waite (calf), Jamie Macmillan (finger) and Mason Wood (calf) to injury.
Hogan's return headlines one of possibly seven changes for the Demons for Sunday's MCG meeting with Carlton. Jeff Garlett will also come back from injury, while former skipper Jack Trengove, Dean Kent, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Sam Weideman and Joel Smith have also been added to the squad.
Hogan and Gartlett have been named in the starting lineup.
Injury has ruled out Dom Tyson (knee) and Jack Viney (foot), with them joining the suspended Tom Bugg and dropped Mitch White on the outer.
The Blues will be without Caleb Marchbank due to a shoulder injury, but Jed Lamb has returned from concussion alongside Sam Petrevski-Seton, Ciaran Byrne, Harrison Macreadie and possible debutant Harry McKay. All are named on the extended bench.
Liam Sumner has been cut from the extended squad.
Port Adelaide could blood two debutants for its important clash with West Coast on Sunday at Domain Stadium, with Joe Atley and Willem Drew added to the Power's 25-man squad. Jack Hombsch returns and is in the starting lineup.
Atley and Drew are both midfielders, with the former the younger brother of North's Shaun.
West Coast has lost Sam Butler (hamstring) and dropped Chris Masten, but looks set for an injection of experience against the Power. Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis and skipper Shannon Hurn are back, with Mark LeCras, Scott Lycett and Will Schofield named in the extended squad.
Spearhead Josh Kennedy will miss his fifth consecutive game with a calf injury.
Friday, July 7
Adelaide v Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval, 7.20pm ACST
In:S.Thompson, A.Otten, C.Cameron
Out: J.Beech, H.Greenwood (rested), K.Hartigan (hamstring)
In: M.Boyd, T.Liberatore, F.Roberts, C.Smith
Out: R.Murphy (hamstring), T.Campbell (abdominal strain), S.Biggs (calf), T.Dickson
Saturday, July 8
Hawthorn v Greater Western Sydney at UTAS Stadium (Launceston), 1.45pm AEST
Out: G.Birchall (knee)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
In: T.Mzungu, H.Perryman
Out: J.Finlayson (knee), S.Johnson (knee soreness)
Collingwood v Essendon at the MCG, 2.10pm AEST
In:B.Reid, T.Varcoe, J.Smith
Out: J.Ramsay, D.Moore (hamstring), T.Phillips (illness)
Sydney v Gold Coast at the SCG, 4.35pm AEST
In:T.McKenzie, D.MacPherson, J.Bowes
Out: G.Ablett (hamstring), P.Hanley (hamstring), J.Leslie
Brisbane Lions v Geelong at the Gabba, 7.25pm AEST
In: M.Hammelmann, D.Beams
Out: D.Gardiner (elbow), J.Barrett
Out: A.Black, S.Simpson
St Kilda v Richmond at Etihad Stadium, 7.25pm AEST
In: S.Savage, D.McKenzie, B.Long
Out: M.Weller, J.Webster (suspension), L.Dunstan
Sunday, July 9
North Melbourne v Fremantle at Etihad Stadium, 1.10pm AEST
In: B.Cunnington, T.Dumont, D.Nielson, B.Preuss, J.Simpkin, C.Zurhaar
Out: J.Waite (calf), J.Macmillan (finger), M.Wood (calf)
New: Daniel Nielson (Eastern U18), Cameron Zurhaar (East Fremantle)
In: S.Hill, C.Blakely, R.Nyhuis, S.Kersten, J.Deluca
Out: C.McCarthy (suspension), A.Sandilands (hamstring)
New: Ryan Nyhuis (NT Thunder)
Carlton v Melbourne at the MCG, 3.20pm AEST
In:J.Lamb, S.Petrevski-Seton, C.Byrne, H.Macreadie, H.McKay
Out: L.Sumner, C.Marchbank (shoulder)
In: J.Garlett, J.Trengove, D.Kent, J.Hogan, J.Kennedy-Harris, S.Weideman, J.Smith
Out: D.Tyson (knee), T.Bugg (suspension), J.Viney (foot), M.White
West Coast v Port Adelaide at Domain Stadium, 2.40pm AWST
In: M.LeCras, M.Priddis, S.Hurn, S.Lycett, W.Schofield
Out: S.Butler (hamstring), C.Masten
In:J.Hombsch, J.Atley, W.Drew
New: Joe Atley (Bendigo U18), Willem Drew (North Ballarat U18)