- Suns skipper misses again despite training strongly
- Former Tigers captain back in team to face Swans
- Jason Winderlich one of five inclusions for Dons
GOLD Coast superstar Gary Ablett's long-awaited comeback from a shoulder injury has been delayed, but forgotten man Jason Winderlich will finally return for Essendon in round 13.
Ablett underwent a fitness test at training on Thursday and was in the running to return for his first match since round two against Carlton on Sunday.
However, the dual Brownlow medallist is not among five inclusions for the Suns' clash with the Blues at Etihad Stadium.
Key defender Steven May, talented midfielder Harley Bennell, Sam Day, Matt Shaw and Alex Sexton come into the squad after last week's bye, with only Danny Stanley (knee) and Clay Cameron dropping out at this stage.
The Blues welcome back important defender Michael Jamison from injury, while David Ellard, Blaine Boekhorst, Jason Tutt and Nick Holman come into the 25-man squad.
Veteran Andrew Walker is out with another knee complaint, while Bryce Gibbs has been suspended for two weeks for his sling tackle on Port Adelaide's Robbie Gray.
Meanwhile, Winderlich's much-needed return from a back injury headlines five changes at Essendon, but David Zaharakis will still be missing against Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday.
After two impressive VFL performances, Winderlich has been called up to provide some dash for the struggling Dons.
Speedster Courtenay Dempsey, Nick O'Brien, Jackson Merrett and rookie-listed ruck/forward Shaun McKernan also come into the side.
But Zaharakis misses his sixth game due to an ankle complaint, while Paul Chapman (groin), Travis Colyer (foot), Orazio Fantasia (groin), Ben Howlett and Patrick Ambrose go out of the team which lost to West Coast before the bye.
The Dons will be aiming to snap a three-game losing streak – in which they have kicked just 21 goals – against the Hawks, who have a near full-strength list and are gunning for their fourth consecutive win.
Triple-premiership backman Grant Birchall (ankle) squeezes into Hawthorn's team for swingman Ryan Schoenmakers.
These sides last met in round two, when defender Cale Hooker was the unlikely hero for Essendon by booting the match-winning goal in the dying seconds.
The Sydney Swans have lost ruckman Mike Pyke for their encounter with Richmond at the SCG on Friday night.
Pyke's knee injury hands back-up big man Tom Derickx his first opportunity of 2015, with Zak Jones also set for his first appearance this year in place of the omitted Daniel Robinson.
Richmond has axed tenacious small forward Steve Morris as one of three changes.
The Tigers have included veteran Chris Newman after a groin injury, alongside Nathan Gordon and Kane Lambert.
Corey Ellis (groin) is also out of the team which lost to West Coast by 20 points last week, while fellow youngster Connor Menadue has been dropped.
A quirk of the fixture sees the Western Bulldogsclash with St Kilda just six weeks after the Saints claimed a famous seven-point victory from 55 points down.
The Bulldogs' defence has received a welcome boost for Saturday night's rematch at Etihad Stadium, with veteran Dale Morris set to make his comeback from a torn pectoral sustained in round three.
The 196-game veteran returns at an important juncture as the Dogs unexpectedly push for a finals berth, with Luke Beveridge's side sitting ninth on the ladder with a 6-5 record.
Morris takes omitted midfielder Nathan Hrovat’s spot, while high-profile forward Stewart Crameri will have to make his way back from an ankle injury via the VFL.
The Saints have brought back freshly promoted rookie Adam Schneider, Sam Fisher and Dylan Roberton.
Out of the side that beat Melbourne before the bye goes omitted trio Luke Delaney, Cam Shenton and Blake Acres.
The Lions have recalled James Aish from a broken jaw to face Adelaide at the Gabba on Saturday, with developing tall defender Harris Andrews and Ryan Harwood also included.
But utility Ryan Lester and midfielder Zac O'Brien have made way, while Nick Robertson is set to miss a few weeks due to a painful shoulder injury suffered during last round's heavy loss to the Western Bulldogs.
Adelaide has named an unchanged side from the team which went down to Hawthorn by 29 points, with captain Taylor Walker named despite battling a corked thigh.
Thursday, June 25
Out: T.Mzungu, M.Taberner
Friday, June 26
Sydney Swans v Richmond, SCG, 7.50pm AEST
In: T.Derickx, Z.Jones
Out: M.Pyke (knee), D.Robinson
In: C.Newman, N.Gordon, K.Lambert
Out: S.Morris, C.Ellis (Hip), C.Menadue
Saturday, June 27
Hawthorn v Essendon, MCG, 1.40pm AEST
In: J.Winderlich, C.Dempsey, S.McKernan, N.O'Brien, J.Merrett
Out: P.Chapman (groin), O.Fantasia (groin), B.Howlett, P.Ambrose, T.Colyer (foot)
Brisbane Lions v Adelaide, Gabba, 4.35pm AEST
In: R.Harwood, J.Aish, H.Andrews
Out: N.Robertson (shoulder), R.Lester, Z.O'Brien
St Kilda v Western Bulldogs, Etihad Stadium, 7.20pm AEST
In: A.Schneider, S.Fisher, D.Roberton
Out: L.Delaney, C.Shenton, B.Acres
Sunday, June 28
Carlton v Gold Coast, Etihad Stadium, 3.20pm AEST
In: M.Jamison, D.Ellard, J.Tutt, B.Boekhorst, N.Holman
Out: A.Walker (knee), B.Gibbs (suspension)
In: S.May, M.Shaw, H.Bennell, S.Day, A.Sexton
Out: D.Stanley (knee), C.Cameron