HAWTHORN has added to the intrigue surrounding its Grand Final selections by also withdrawing ruckman Ben McEvoy from Box Hill's VFL team.
The Hawks' VFL affiliates are playing Footscray on Sunday in the Grand Final at Etihad Stadium.
Star forward Cyril Rioli is making his comeback from a hamstring injury, with the Hawks looking to regain him for next Saturday's Grand Final against the Sydney Swans if he can prove his fitness.
Veteran midfielder Brad Sewell and McEvoy were also supposed to play, but the pair is now out of the side.
Sewell trained at Waverley on Sunday morning, making his withdrawal from the Box Hill team obvious.
Now McEvoy's name is a notable omission from the Box Hill team sheet, released about an hour before the VFL grand final.
Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson expects Jordan Lewis to recover from what he termed a "severe" corked thigh, but if he doesn't then Sewell would be an obvious replacement.
Lewis was subbed out of Saturday night's tight preliminary final win over Port Adelaide because of the injury.
"They've pulled him out of the VFL to keep him in the mix," Hawks defender Josh Gibson told Channel Seven's Game Day.
"It (being dropped for a preliminary final) is really tough.
"The most pleasing thing for me was the way he went about it when he was left out of the side.
"It's OK to be selfish at times, but he just put that aside and was so team focused."
Sewell has played 200 games, including the 2008, 2012 and 2013 grand finals.
His 2014 campaign has been stop-start due to a series of injuries.
McEvoy, in his first season at Hawthorn after moving from St Kilda, has not played in the senior side since round 21.
David Hale and Jonathan Ceglar have been the Hawks' ruck options since, but Ceglar might be vulnerable after his performance in the preliminary final.
McEvoy has played 103 AFL games, while Ceglar has managed 15 senior matches in his second season at Hawthorn for a career total of 17.