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In the mix: round 17

Is Toby Greene a chance to return this week for the Giants? - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Brisbane Lions,Carlton Blues,Collingwood Magpies,Essendon Bombers,Fremantle Dockers,Geelong Cats,Gold Coast Suns,GWS Giants,Hawthorn Hawks,Melbourne Demons,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Port Adelaide Power,Richmond Tigers,St Kilda Saints,Sydney Swans,West Coast Eagles,Western Bulldogs,In the Mix
Is Toby Greene a chance to return this week for the Giants?

Get them in: Goalsneak Eddie Betts could return from a hamstring injury for Thursday night's clash with Geelong. Sam Gibson, rookie Patrick Wilson, winger Rory Atkins, speedster Riley Knight, Cam Ellis-Yolmen (quad) and small forward Lachlan Murphy will be considered. Key defender Alex Keath will be on standby for Daniel Talia (foot).

Under the pump: Curtly Hampton's two-disposal game against Richmond last Friday night will cost him his spot. First-year forward Darcy Fogarty and fellow youngsters Myles Poholke and Jordan Gallucci were off the pace last week, while defender Kyle Hartigan struggled.

Medical room: Midfielder/forward Richard Douglas will miss at least two weeks with an ankle injury. Talia is in doubt with a foot strain, while Betts and Ellis-Yolmen could be available.

Verdict: The five-day break between the Crows' SANFL game last Saturday and the Thursday night clash with the Cats will work against a couple of players. In: Betts, Gibson and Atkins. Out: Douglas, Fogarty, Hampton. Keath and Murphy will come in if Talia and/or Betts are ruled out. - Lee Gaskin

The Crows will be hoping Eddie Betts will return from his hamstring injury. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: A number of players are stringing together good NEAFL performances, led by Claye Beams and Ryan Bastinac. Untried draftee Brandon Starcevich is also keeping his name right in contention.

Under the pump: Literally every player did their job against the Blues. Mitch Robinson and Lewy Taylor were a touch quiet, but there is no way either player is in any danger.

Medical room: Vice-captain Harris Andrews will see a neurosurgeon in Brisbane about his concussion later this week. Coach Chris Fagan has indicated the young defender is at least another week away from playing.

Verdict: No reason to change a winning line-up, so expect the same 22 that beat Carlton to run out against Hawthorn. - Michael Whiting

Get them in: Kade Simpson is a chance to return immediately from a calf problem, while Ciaran Byrne, Aaron Mullett and Cam O'Shea are likely to be in the frame. Paddy Dow is set to return, having been rested last week, while the Blues will likely choose between Levi Casboult, Patrick Kerr and Harry McKay to fill a key position void up forward.

Under the pump: Few wouldn't be under the pump following last weekend's disappointing performance. Matthew Wright is struggling with his form and had just seven touches last week, while Jarrod Pickett was also quiet, but is slowly regaining his match fitness.

Medical room: Simpson missed last week with a calf problem, Jacob Weitering sat out the final term with a calf injury, Caleb Marchbank had a raised heartbeat and Andrew Phillips injured his hamstring in the first quarter. All are under a cloud for the clash with the Saints.

Verdict: The Blues will hope that Simpson can come straight back, while Dow should also return. Byrne, O'Shea or Mullett could earn recalls as a result of injuries to Marchbank and Weitering, while Casboult or McKay will replace Phillips. - Riley Beveridge

Get them in: Travis Varcoe is ready to return and Darcy Moore could also be back to bolster the Pies' defence for Sunday's battle for second spot with West Coast. Adam Oxley, Sam Murray or Josh Smith could also be in line to replace the injured Flynn Appleby, while second-year player Sam McLarty is another versatile tall option.

Under the pump: Forward Ben Crocker was good against Gold Coast but struggled against Essendon, managing just six touches (all uncontested) and one tackle.

Medical room: Appleby (hamstring) is certain to miss but there's a chance Will Hoskin-Elliott (knee/shin) will play.

Verdict: Varcoe is set to return and so will Moore if deemed fit enough after one VFL game. - Ben Collins

Get them in: Darcy Parish dominated in the VFL on the weekend, gathering 39 disposals and 10 clearances in his return from a broken thumb. James Stewart kicked two goals, Dylan Clarke played well in the midfield and Aaron Francis may be a chance. 

Under the pump: The Bombers were solid against the Pies in Sunday's loss, so nobody jumps out here. Ben McNiece and Travis Colyer were relatively quiet. 

Medical room: Orazio Fantasia was a late withdrawal due to groin tightness so will be touch and go, while Patrick Ambrose has fallen to another soft-tissue setback, going down with a hamstring injury against the Pies. Jake Stringer will miss four weeks with a calf issue.

Verdict: They could bring back Stewart to the forward line to replace Stringer, and look at Michael Hartley, Matt Dea or Francis for Ambrose's spot. Parish also should get back. - Callum Twomey

Darcy Parish is likely to return this week. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Not many put their hands up at Peel last Friday night. Ross Lyon hinted Taylin Duman would be close to a recall, while Cam Sutcliffe was the travelling emergency in Darwin. Harley Bennell has played seven games for the Thunder now, is it finally time for a call up?

Under the pump: It's not all about goals for Brandon Matera but he's only kicked one in four games since coming back from one week at WAFL level.

Medical room: There aren't many reinforcements on the way, but Hayden Ballantyne could be in the mix after missing the Melbourne loss with a sore ankle.

Verdict: Expect Duman to be called up for Sunday's clash with the Power. Bennell seems only an outside chance but has to be getting close. - Travis King

Get them in: Daniel Menzel will return, while Ryan Abbott missing the VFL – and the four-day turnaround – could prove a blessing as the Cats consider two ruckmen against Sam Jacobs. Sam Simpson was on restricted minutes and Jordan Cunico sat out the VFL match.  

Under the pump: Jordan Murdoch (eight disposals) will need to prove his fitness after a head knock against the Swans, which could explain his limited impact. While Chris Scott confirmed Jamaine Jones' spot, Lachie Fogarty or Quinton Narkle could fall out.

Medical room: Harry Taylor pulled up sore after kicking the sealer against Sydney, while Lachie Henderson has circled round 18 for his return from a knee injury. 

Verdict: Menzel for Narkle or Fogarty, and Simpson for Murdoch. If Taylor is ruled out, Abbott comes in and plays No.1 ruck, allowing Stanley more time forward. - Mitch Cleary

Get them in: The NEAFL team had a bye at the weekend, but Kade Kolodjashnij must be in contention after a strong showing the week before. If Jack Bowes overcomes a quad niggle, he would be at the front of a queue for a return.

Under the pump: Small forward Sean Lemmens struggled to impact against the Roos, although his pressure was solid, while veteran defender Michael Rischitelli was also down.

Medical room: Co-captain Steven May will be tested for a hip problem but is expected to be fine, while Brayden Fiorini and Pearce Hanley both strong chances to return through the NEAFL after long layoffs.

Verdict: Either Kolodjashnij or Bowes (if fit) could come in for Rischitelli, who has done an outstanding job in an under-siege backline but might need a rest. - Michael Whiting

Kade Kolodjashnij's strong NEAFL effort two weeks ago might be rewarded. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Can Toby Greene (foot) and Brett Deledio (calf) come from nowhere to face Richmond on Saturday night? It would be a massive call given the amount of time they've been out, but it could be worth the risk. Adam Kennedy is also pushing hard.

Under the pump: Young forward Zac Langdon has had a couple of quiet weeks, while Jeremy Finlayson is struggling to recapture his early-season form in defence.

Medical room: Young defender Harry Perryman (hamstring tightness) finished last week's loss to the Eagles on the bench, so could be in doubt for this week's clash with the premiers.

Verdict: If Greene and Deledio continue their push with some strong training this week they will be considered, but they would be on limited minutes in a huge game, and that could be telling. If Perryman can't get up, Kennedy comes in as his replacement, with Greene and Deledio to return in round 18. - Adam Curley

Get them in: Brendan Whitecross (29 possessions), Kieran Lovell (22) and David Mirra all played well in Box Hill's win over Footscray.

Under the pump:  The Hawks had few passengers against the Bulldogs last week. Jonathon O'Rourke and Teia Miles both made solid contributions in their first games for the year.

Medical room: Ben McEvoy (cheekbone) will be out for a few weeks and Daniel Howe sat out the last term with a knee injury. Conor Glass (tonsillitis) was a late withdrawal, while Will Langford (finger) didn't play.

Verdict:  The complication in replacing McEvoy is that back-up ruckman Marc Pittonet hurt his ankle in the VFL. The safest bet might be that Tim O’Brien returns. Glass and Langford might come in for O'Rourke and Miles, although the latter pair deserve another chance. - Ashley Browne

Get them in: Don't expect too many changes to the team this week, although veteran defender Bernie Vince could earn a recall after being the carryover emergency for the trip to Darwin. Dom Tyson (32 touches), Tom Bugg (31), Jay Kennedy Harris (25 and three goals) and Oskar Baker (21) are others in contention.

Under the pump: The Demons are likely to back in Jeff Garlett again after he returned to play his first senior game since round five at the weekend. Joel Smith and Sam Frost are the others who are no certainties to play.

Medical room: Defender Joel Smith (hip) will be monitored and may have to pass a fitness test to declare himself fit to play.

Verdict: Vince to replace Smith. - Ben Guthrie

Veteran Bernie Vince may earn a recall to the Demons side. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Nick Larkey was unable to improve his case for selection in wet conditions at Casey, but his body of work should keep him in the frame, given the injuries to the Roos' forward options. Braydon Preuss might even be considered as a forward-ruck alongside Todd Goldstein. Luke Davies-Uniacke, Alex Morgan, Will Walker, Tom Murphy and maybe even Josh Williams are others clamouring for a spot.

Under the pump: Nathan Hrovat hasn't done anything wrong in his three matches back, but hasn't stood out, either.

Medical room: Cameron Zurhaar sustained a broken ankle against Gold Coast and may not play again this year. Veteran forward Jarrad Waite is expected to miss another month with his calf injury.

Verdict: North has been reluctant to make anything but forced changes this year, so Zurhaar's replacement will likely be the only selection move this week. Expect one of Larkey, Preuss or Walker to come in. - Marc McGowan

Get them in: Key defender Jack Hombsch is the logical replacement for the injured Tom Jonas for Sunday's game with Fremantle at Optus Stadium. Jarrod Lienert was also impressive in the SANFL last Sunday, but Hombsch has the runs on the board. Running defender Jasper Pittard (hamstring tightness) could be available.

Under the pump: Forward Aidyn Johnson was pretty quiet in his AFL return last Saturday against St Kilda, but should retain his spot with Sam Gray likely to miss again with an ankle injury and Jake Neade sustaining a knee injury in the SANFL. Jack Trengove could be squeezed out if Pittard is ready to go.

Medical room: Jonas will miss four to six weeks with a knee injury and Pittard and Gray will be assessed this week.

Verdict: Possibly two changes – Hombsch for Jonas, and Pittard for Trengove. - Lee Gaskin

Get them in: Nick Vlastuin is available after a one-week suspension. Liam Baker has put together three solid VFL games in a row while Shai Bolton has been in good form for over a month and Tyson Stengle had 18 touches, nine tackles and kicked a goal on Sunday. Connor Menadue continues to toil away when out of the AFL side and had 27 touches and six clearances in the win over Essendon's VFL team.

Under the pump: Again, a substantial win plus at least three forced changes means the rest of the team is likely to remain untouched unless anyone needs a rest.

Medical room: Jack Graham (shoulder), Nathan Broad (cheekbone) and Dan Butler (ankle) will all miss up to a month, which opens the door for Bachar Houli to return from a groin injury if he gets through training this week. Ryan Garthwaite hurt his ankle in the VFL on the weekend and is likely to be unavailable while Anthony Miles and Ivan Soldo will be tested after missing with concussion.

Verdict: Vlastuin and Menadue to return, with the third replacement to come from Baker, Stengle or Bolton. - Jennifer Phelan

Nick Vlastuin will be back after his one-week suspension. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Injury-hit midfielder Nathan Freeman strung together his fourth straight game on return from a left shoulder injury and had 25 disposals against Coburg last Saturday. Back from a groin injury, Blake Acres racked up 31 himself while ruckman Tom Hickey had 27. Up forward, Rowan Marshall booted three goals.

Under the pump: Jack Newnes probably hasn't had the season he would have liked, while it's been a tough first couple of weeks for defender Darragh Joyce.

Medical room: Another key forward is out, with Paddy McCartin battling a left foot sprain. Backman Jake Carlisle could return from a punctured lung.

Verdict: Carlisle, Marshall and Acres to replace Joyce, McCartin and Newnes. - Dinny Navaratnam

Get them in: Irishman Colin O'Riordan has been in outstanding form in the NEAFL and deserves a chance to make his debut, with Harry Marsh, Darcy Cameron and Nic Newman also in good touch.

Under the pump: Dean Towers struggled to have an impact against Geelong last week and could be forced out by some returning senior players.

Medical room: Jarrad McVeigh (collarbone) and Dan Hannebery (calf) are out for at least a month and Kieren Jack (knee) looks unlikely to face North Melbourne. In better news, Isaac Heeney (concussion) and Tom Papley (hip) should return if they can get through training, and Gary Rohan (hamstring) might also be available.

Verdict: Heeney, Papley, Rohan and O'Riordan come in for McVeigh, Jack, Hannebery and Towers. - Adam Curley

Get them in: The Eagles are confident full-back Tom Barrass will finally be right to return for his first game in six weeks due to a back injury. Jake Waterman was officially omitted against the Giants but if other forwards aren't fit his link-up play on the MCG expanses could be valuable. Dom Sheed's ongoing absence is a mystery, however he could be in the frame against Collingwood.

Under the pump: Daniel Venables was very quiet with only four touches in his first game since round four, Brendon Ah Chee shows signs without putting it all together, while debutant Oscar Allen and Nathan Vardy could make way depending who is fit. 

Medical room: Time will tell if star forwards Josh Kennedy (leg) and Jack Darling (ankle) are realistic chances of returning. Mark LeCras (wrist) seems a while off still. 

Verdict: Barrass will almost certainly be back, Sheed has to be a chance, although the Pies' speed could count against him, and then it is down to which of the big-name forwards are fit. - Travis King

Tom Barrass is almost certain to be back for the Eagles. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Star midfielder Jack Macrae is almost certain to return from a month-long hamstring. With question marks over key defender Aaron Naughton's fitness, second-year stopper Lewis Young looms a likely replacement given his strong VFL form. Crafty forward Fergus Greene isn't far away from a debut after being an emergency last week.

Under the pump: Forward Patrick Lipinski has been impressive this season, but the youngster may be tiring after collecting just eight touches last week.

Medical room: Naughton's ankle will be monitored throughout the week, but he is a good chance to face Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday. 

Verdict: Macrae for Lipinski - Ryan Davidson