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In the mix: Who's pushing for selection for round 10?

Shaun McKernan, Jordan De Goey and Josh Jenkins are all in contention to return this weekend - 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,News,In the Mix
Shaun McKernan, Jordan De Goey and Josh Jenkins are all in contention to return this weekend

Get them in: Key forward Josh Jenkins is in line to be recalled after kicking six goals in the SANFL win against Port Adelaide. Paul Seedsman and Richard Douglas got through their first games back from injury. Matt Crouch (hip) could be available to return, while Wayne Milera (AC joint) is an outside chance.

Under the pump: Elliott Himmelberg could do with a rest after a quiet game against Brisbane. Bryce Gibbs, Jordan Gallucci, Rory Atkins – after three first-half disposals – Cam Ellis-Yolmen and Hugh Greenwood could be squeezed out.

Medical room: Crouch will be assessed this week, while Milera, who hasn't played since round five, is a test. Kyle Hartigan is in doubt with concussion.

Verdict: A lot of experience will come back into the side. Jenkins, Seedsman, Crouch, Milera and Douglas return, with Himmelberg, Gibbs, Gallucci, Atkins and Greenwood making way. - Lee Gaskin

A six-goal haul in the SANFL is likely to earn Josh Jenkins a recall. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: With the NEAFL team having a bye at the weekend, no one was able to enhance their case for inclusion. Ryan Bastinac, Allen Christensen, Nick Robertson and untried pair Corey Lyons and Toby Wooller have been terrific in the past month.

Under the pump: Rhys Mathieson will miss the Fremantle match through suspension. Cam Rayner had just three touches against Adelaide but is playing a tricky position and should be persisted with.

Medical room: Luke Hodge was a late withdrawal against the Crows with a calf niggle and will be assessed through the week.

Verdict: If Hodge is available, unfortunately it could be at the expense of the unlucky Ryan Lester. With Mathieson missing, Bastinac would be a good replacement after his sustained good form in the NEAFL. – Michael Whiting

NINE THINGS WE LEARNED 2010 Flag-pie still has what it takes

Get them in: The Blues will hope Liam Jones, Lachie Plowman and Kade Simpson have recovered sufficiently enough from respective injury issues to put themselves up for selection. Young forward Patrick Kerr kicked six goals in a VFL victory over Frankston, while forgotten midfielder Darcy Lang racked up 28 disposals in a best-on-ground display.

Under the pump: It's hard to find many Carlton players who would think that their spots in this team are guaranteed after a pretty dismal 1-8 start to the year.

Medical room: Jones (concussion) and Plowman (fractured cheekbone) should be available for selection, while Simpson (hamstring) is on the comeback trail. Former captain Marc Murphy (ribs) won't be available for the next month.

Verdict: Jones and Plowman should return for Harrison Macreadie and Levi Casboult, while Simpson will also push for a recall in place of Murphy. A number of midfielders, including Lang and Matthew Kennedy, might also return. There are a number of players who will feel unsafe when the selection committee meets later this week. – Riley Beveridge

The Blues desperately need Liam Jones to return to an under-siege backline. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Star quartet Jordan De Goey, Darcy Moore, Taylor Adams and Mason Cox could return from injury for the clash with Sydney at the SCG on Friday night. Other candidates for promotion include runners Josh Daicos and Ben Crocker, along with would-be debutant Isaac Quaynor.

Under the pump: Inside midfielder Rupert Wills played his first AFL game in almost two seasons, then made way for Dayne Beams, before being a late inclusion against St Kilda and performing better.

Medical room: De Goey (shin), Moore (ankle), Adams (adductor) and Cox (ankle) are chances, but defender Tom Langdon (knee) appears set to be sidelined.

Verdict: If De Goey, Moore, Adams and Cox prove their fitness, they would likely replace the suspended Varcoe, the injured Langdon, a very unlucky Reid and Wills. - Ben Collins

BARRETT Big guns make flag chase a race in five

Get them in: Shaun McKernan is available after missing the past six weeks with a hamstring strain, so could come back into the side. Jordan Ridley, Dylan Clarke and Jayden Laverde, all emergencies last week, could be in line for a call-up while David Myers performed well in the VFL. Mitch Brown is also tipped to be available after recovering from his wrist injury.

Under the pump: Ben McNiece was solid in his first senior game of the season last week against Fremantle but didn't have a big impact.

Medical room: Essendon will lose Devon Smith for the rest of the season with his knee injury, but its injury list is shortening. Martin Gleeson (cheekbone) is expected to play in the VFL this week but won't yet be considered for an AFL call-up. 

Verdict: Coach John Worsfold was bullish about McKernan playing straight away at AFL level but he'll have to come in for a smaller type if they're to bring him straight in to face the Tigers. – Callum Twomey

Forward Shaun McKernan is in the mix for selection at the Bombers. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Young backman Griffin Logue has played two games at Peel after his hamstring issues and was best afield in the loss to Claremont. Brett Bewley (21 disposals) is a damaging kick and would be a chance to debut.

Under the pump: Swingman Brennan Cox had five disposals and not much impact against the Bombers playing in attack.  Andy Brayshaw might need a rest.

Medical room: There isn't anyone on the cusp of returning to senior football, and Sean Darcy's game-ending ankle injury at Peel could limit Ross Lyon's options with his bigs.  

Verdict:  Cam McCarthy isn't banging the door down but could return for Cox, while Bewley and Logue will be around the mark after three straight losses. - Travis King

MID-SEASON ROOKIE DRAFT Former players, brothers of star on the list

Get them in: Ruckman Zac Smith (21 disposals, 48 hitouts) played his best game of the season in the VFL as Wylie Buzza bagged five goals. James Parsons and Sam Simpson continue to bang down the door and Esava Ratugolea is back in contention after being rested.

Under the pump: Charlie Constable (11 disposals) and Jordan Clark (seven) had their lowest outputs of the season in reduced game time. Ryan Abbott held his own in the ruck but is behind Rhys Stanley, while it'll be hard to drop Darcy Fort after three goals 

Medical room: Rhys Stanley (adductor) and Tom Atkins (hip) will be tested in Wednesday's main session after missing. Patrick Dangerfield has improved rapidly since Saturday's win and ditched the crutches and remains some chance to play.

Verdict: If fit, Stanley for Abbott and Atkins for Clark. Parsons will be the man to replace Dangerfield if injured or Constable if dropped. Fort to hold his spot over Ratugolea and Buzza. – Mitch Cleary

Esava Ratugolea and Wylie Buzza are in contention but appear unlikely to replace Darcy Fort. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: No NEAFL game at the weekend for the Suns. George Horlin-Smith and Will Brodie would be in contention for recalls.

Under the pump: The Suns played four tall forwards last week – it was too many. Although he spent time on the wing against Port, Jack Lukosius could be one to make way. Jordan Murdoch has also struggled for a few weeks.

Medical room: Vice-captain Touk Miller missed last week with a foot problem, but is expected to return. Pearce Hanley is still being monitored for a corked quad that required surgery to drain the fluid.

Verdict: It all depends on the availability of injured duo Miller and Hanley, with the former more likely to play. Providing Miller is fit, he could come in for Lukosius, shifting a midfielder into a more forward role to improve the Suns' pressure in that part of the ground. If Hanley plays, he would come in for Murdoch. – Michael Whiting

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Get them in: Vice-captain Stephen Coniglio (finger), key defender Aidan Corr (ankle) and small forward Zac Langdon (foot) could be available for Sunday's clash with Melbourne, while youngsters Jackson HatelyIsaac Cumming and Jye Caldwell are in great NEAFL form and continue to put pressure on the senior side.

Under the pump: After last week's massive win there's unlikely to be any unforced changes, but if some best-22 names return from injury, Brent Daniels and Daniel Lloyd could be the unlucky ones to miss out.

Medical room: Dashing defender Zac Williams missed the second half last week with hamstring tightness, so he could be in doubt to face the Demons.

VerdictStar midfielder Coniglio will be a massive inclusion as a replacement for Williams, who is unlikely to be risked. – Adam Curley

The Giants will welcome back star midfielder Stephen Coniglio for the clash with Melbourne. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: We'll get a good idea this week on the Hawks' plans for veteran forward Jarryd Roughead, with Mitch Lewis (concussion) in doubt to face Port Adelaide. Roughead spent time up forward and down back in the VFL on Sunday and kicked just one goal. Does Marc Pittonet get a look in if Ben McEvoy (ankle) fails to come up?

Under the pump:  Paul Puopolo has kicked five goals in nine games and none in the past month. His tackle and pressure numbers are still there, but he's traditionally also been at least a goal-a-game forward. Conor Glass could also be in danger despite a solid return.

Medical room:  Chad Wingard (hamstring), Isaac Smith (foot), and James Frawley (hamstring), who was a late withdrawal against Richmond, are a chance to return. Wingard may face his old side Port Adelaide for the first time. McEvoy (ankle) and Lewis are in doubt after in-game injuries last week. Ryan Schoenmakers (Achilles) and Jacob Koschitzke (managed) could be back for VFL duty.

Verdict: So much depends on fitness here, but Wingard and Frawley appear the most likely to play – maybe at Puopolo's and Glass's expense, although McEvoy is a long shot to play. Roughead should come in if Lewis is ruled out. - Marc McGowan

 

Get them in: Corey Wagner impressed, catching the early-morning flight from Perth after being an emergency for the seniors and picking up 23 disposals and nine tackles in the VFL. Big man Braydon Preuss had 16 disposals, 34 hitouts and kicked two goals.

Under the pump: It's unlikely anyone will be dropped. 

Medical room: Three were concussed in the West Coast loss: Tim Smith, Alex Neal-Bullen and Christian Salem. Veteran Jordan Lewis needs to overcome an ankle complaint, while key forward Sam Weideman should be right after battling a hip issue. 

Verdict: If Salem isn't right, Lewis will likely take his spot. Weideman could replace Smith, if he isn't declared fit, although Preuss is probably more likely. - Dinny Navaratnam

Veteran Jordan Lewis needs to overcome an ankle complaint before a return. Picture: AFL Photos

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Get them in: The Roos had a VFL bye, but the usual suspects are banging on the door: prized 2017 draft pick Luke Davies-Uniacke, Aaron Hall, Paul Ahern, Curtis Taylor, Nathan Hrovat and hard nut Kyron Hayden. Sam Durdin is available after suspension, too.

Under the pump:  Taylor Garner has struggled in the past fortnight after a bright return, while Mason Wood won only five possessions last week against Sydney.

Medical room:  Sam Wright (ankle) is expected to be available for selection after missing last week, as are Ben McKay (quad) and Bailey Scott (concussion). Tom Murphy (ankle) needs to pass a fitness test, while Dom Tyson (calf) is still at least two weeks away from returning.

Verdict: There's a chance North will be unchanged this week, but that could depend on what happens with Wood. Davies-Uniacke or Hall may be recalled. - Marc McGowan

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Get them in: Star forward Robbie Gray (hand) and co-captain Tom Jonas (calf) could return to face Hawthorn in Launceston on Saturday, while Ryan Burton (hamstring) is an outside chance. Rookie-listed ruckman Peter Ladhams could make his senior debut if Scott Lycett is ruled out with an adductor injury. Willem Drew put up his hand for an immediate recall with 32 disposals and 12 clearances in the SANFL.

Under the pump: Steven Motlop had just 11 disposals in the win against Gold Coast, while Jarrod Lienert is likely to be pushed out if Jonas returns. Joe Atley was useful through the midfield but could face pressure from Drew.

Medical room: Gray, Jonas, Lycett and Burton will be assessed this week.

Verdict: Depending on fitness tests, the changes are pretty simple – Gray and Jonas for Motlop and Lienert. A six-day break could work against Lycett, allowing Ladhams to debut. Burton likely needs at least another week. The Drew/Atley decision will be close, but Atley just retains his spot. - Lee Gaskin

Robbie Gray is an automatic inclusion if he proves his fitness. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Usual forward Dan Butler, who has been in the VFL since round four, starred in the midfield (18 disposals, three goals). Patrick Naish put in yet another strong performance on the wing with 31 touches, while Daniel Rioli (17) returned from a series of knocks through the VFL. Riley Collier-Dawkins was the carry-over emergency.

Under the pump: Ruckman Ivan Soldo is off to the Tribunal on Tuesday night, attempting to downgrade his one-match suspension for striking. Jason Castagna (seven disposals, one goal) and Shai Bolton (11, one behind) were uncharacteristically quiet.

Medical room: Unbelievably, given their season-long horror run of injuries, the Tigers got through a match unscathed. Jack Graham is a chance to return from a hamstring injury, but given the Tigers' strong midfield form, may come through the twos.

Verdict: Richmond may have to play two 19-year-olds in the ruck if Soldo doesn't argue his way out of a suspension, with Callum Coleman-Jones the only other recognised ruckman on the list. It may be a double swap up forward, with Rioli and Butler chances to take Castagna and Bolton's spots - Sarah Black

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Get them in: Whenever Hunter Clark is in the VFL, he thrives. Clark collected 31 disposals and a goal for Sandringham. Down back, Brandon White (21 disposals) and Nick Hind (22) have impressed for a while.

Under the pump: Wingman Jack Newnes is in a quiet patch after an excellent start.

Medical room: Backman Jimmy Webster faces a test as he deals with a left hand complaint. Ed Phillips didn't do much against the Pies after a heavy collision with Travis Varcoe. 

Verdict: If fit, Webster comes back in, possibly for Ben Paton, since Jonathon Marsh will probably be needed against Carlton's tall forwards. Clark for Phillips looms as a likely swap. - Dinny Navaratnam

The Saints will be hoping Jimmy Webster is over a hand issue. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Superstar forward Lance Franklin (hamstring) and co-captain Josh Kennedy (quad) look to be an outside chance to return, with their fate to be determined at Wednesday's main training session. Veteran Kieren Jack (hip) might also be available. The Swans had a NEAFL bye last week, but Justin McInerneyJames Rose and Sam Wicks have been in good form, while Ben Ronke could earn a recall after finding some touch in the reserves a fortnight ago.

Under the pump: With two wins on the trot there's unlikely to be anyone dropped, unless Franklin and Kennedy get up for the Collingwood clash on Friday night, but Zak Jones will be missing with a hamstring injury.

Medical room: Jones will miss the next two or three weeks after going down in last week's win over North Melbourne.

Verdict: The Swans will have to do without Franklin for a fifth straight match, but Kennedy will return in place of Jones. – Adam Curley

FULL INJURY LIST Who's ruled out and who's a test?

Get them in: Experienced defender Will Schofield (soreness) should be available, while Jake Waterman will hope for a recall, Brendon Ah Chee is pushing for his first game since round 22 last year, Matt Allen is close to a debut, while Josh Rotham or emergency Jackson Nelson could replace suspended Lewis Jetta.

Under the pump: Nathan Vardy struggled against Melbourne with five touches and will probably drop out if Adam Simpson reverts to a one-ruck setup.  

Medical room: Daniel Venables is doubtful coming off a heavy concussion.

Verdict: Schofield returns, sending Oscar Allen back forward, while Rotham comes in for Jetta and Ah Chee replaces Venables, with Vardy omitted. - Travis King

Will Schofield's return would allow Oscar Allen to return to the forward line. Picture: AFL Photos

Get thein: Another VFL win for Footscray and another dominant display from Patrick Lipinski and Bailey Williams. The pair racked up 32 and 28 disposals respectively, but neither laid a tackle. Bailey Dale kicked three goals to go with 21 disposals as he presses his case, while Josh Schache took eight marks and kicked one goal.

Under the pump: The availability of ruckman Tim English could dictate multiple moves. Jackson Trengove has battled manfully in his absence and Fletcher Roberts has taken Trengove's role in defence. It's not all about possessions, but forward Billy Gowers hasn't had more than 10 in a game since round five.

Medical room: English is carrying a cork in his thigh and appears to be touch and go. Matt Suckling got through the game at GMHBA Stadium despite requiring treatment on his right calf and Achilles.

Verdict: English might need more recovery time and that scenario saves Roberts. If Suckling isn't at full capacity, Williams in. Lipinski has earned a crack at the expense of Will Hayes. - Paul Bastin

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs