Patrick Dangerfield (knee), Scott Thompson (leg), Ben Rutten (concussion) and Daniel Talia (corked buttock) are all expected to be available for Friday night's crucial encounter against Hawthorn at Adelaide Oval. The group will train lightly this week given its second-straight six-day break. It's getting harder for Brenton Sanderson to ignore Matt Crouch at the selection table, with Brad's younger brother again superb in the SANFL with 42 possessions, as was Mitch Grigg (30 disposals) and Cam Ellis-Yolmen (27). - Harry Thring

The Lions are running out of fit troops, so despite losing against Richmond at the weekend, don't expect too many changes for Saturday night's home match against West Coast. Tom Rockliff's likely one-match suspension means another midfielder must come in, so either Nick Robertson, Zac O'Brien or experienced Andrew Raines fits the bill there. Matthew Leuenberger and Brent Moloney both suffered minor setbacks in the reserves last weekend and will miss another week each with Achilles niggles. - Michael Whiting

The Blues will have to find a replacement for vice-captain Andrew Carrazzo, who will miss two matches after he was subbed off with a quad injury late in the second quarter of last Sunday’s game against St Kilda. Rising Star nominee Troy Menzel suffered a ‘stinger’ to his left shoulder, but managed to play out the match and should be right to face the Sydney Swans on Saturday night. In the Northern Blues’ 18-point victory over Collingwood last Sunday, forwards Jarrad Waite (21 disposals, eight marks, three tackles, three goals) and Jeff Garlett (20 disposals, including 14 in the final term) pressed their claims for a return to the seniors. Matthew Watson booted three goals and midfielder Nick Graham impressed again with 22 disposals. - Howard Kotton 

Nick Maxwell's return to the senior side cannot come soon enough and the former skipper will be a valuable inclusion against the Bombers. Maxwell played a starring role in the VFL, in his comeback game from a calf injury, to prove he is ready to go for Sunday's huge clash. Jamie Elliott, who missed the narrow loss to Gold Coast with a hamstring complaint, faces a fitness test later in the week but is pushing to play. Luke Ball is likely to return to the team, while Sam Dwyer (groin) is probable. ­– Ben Guthrie

Nick Maxwell is always involved but the Pies are better when he's playing. Picture: AFL Media

The Bombers will need to replace the suspended Brendon Goddard for their important clash with Collingwood, but Michael Hibberd is a chance to return from an ankle injury. Dustin Fletcher is also in contention after being omitted last week, while key position options Tom Bellchambers and Tayte Pears are also playing in the VFL. Ariel Steinberg played well in the VFL last weekend, as did Nick O'Brien, while Cory Dell'Olio kicked three goals. Elliott Kavanagh, too, could be considered for a senior recall. - Callum Twomey

It is an interesting mix this week for Fremantle and it will only get more intriguing as September edges closer. Stephen Hill has been ruled out for three weeks with a quad strain. Matthew Pavlich was withdrawn late last week with illness but should be fine to return this week. Michael Johnson has been preparing for a return from his medial strain this week but he needs to get through a full week of training before he's declared a certain starter against GWS. Tommy Sheridan put his hand up with 28 touches in a 10-goal loss for Peel Thunder in the WAFL. Matt de Boer had a second solid match in the WAFL coming off his medial ligament strain. He gathered 23 disposals and kicked a goal. - Alex Malcolm

The Cats are likely to regain veteran defender James Kelly for their clash with Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday. Kelly was rested from the game against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday with what the club said was "soreness". Of the young players pushing for the spot in the side, Jesse Stringer and Billie Smedts were both impressive in Geelong's VFL team's heavy defeat at the hands of the Bulldogs. Stringer finished with 10 touches, five tackles and three clearances, while Smedts tallied 13 disposals, eight tackles and four inside-50s. - Adam McNicol

Geelong should regain James Kelly for its clash against Melbourne at the MCG. Picture: AFL Media

The Suns will be forced to delve deep into their playing stocks for Saturday's match against the Western Bulldogs in Cairns after being hit with an injury crisis. Skipper Gary Ablett (shoulder) and rebounding defender Trent McKenzie (hamstring) are definite outs, while Charlie Dixon (corked calf) is rated a 50-50 chance and Sean Lemmens must pass a concussion test. Matt Shaw and Luke Russell were dropped last week and appear obvious replacements. If Lemmens fails his test, experienced Tom Murphy could be a shot at returning to the back line. - Michael Whiting

GWS lacked some of its defensive pressure and accountability against Adelaide last week, something it needs to rectify quickly ahead of a daunting trip west to face Fremantle. Hard nut Jacob Townsend could be just the type of player the Giants need, coming off a strong performance in the reserves in their big win over the Brisbane Lions that took them to the top of the NEAFL ladder. Small forward Jed Lamb also did his chances of a senior recall no harm, kicking six goals against the Lions, including five in the first half. Tim Golds, Lachie Plowman and Nathan Wilson also played well. The Giants will monitor Heath Shaw closely this week as he recovers from a heavy bout of concussion, as his experience in the backline would be invaluable against the rampaging Dockers. - James Dampney

Hawthorn has lost Brad Sewell to another hamstring and could also be without tribunal-bound Brian Lake for several weeks, but the Hawks have a range of replacements available. If speedster Bradley Hill recovers from knee soreness he will come straight back in. Otherwise inside midfielder Mitch Hallahan would be a like-for-like replacement for Sewell. Will Langford, Alex Woodward and Jonathan Simpkin are also waiting in the wings. Defender Kyle Cheney was in the best for Box Hill and is the obvious option if Lake is suspended. Young ruckman Luke Lowden was outstanding in the VFL, heaping more pressure on Ben McEvoy to force his way back into the senior side. - Travis King

Bradley Hill will inject some pace into the Hawthorn side if he is brought back this week. Picture: AFL Media

Neville Jetta will return after serving a one-week suspension and Aidan Riley might be a chance to come back into the senior team after a good display with Casey in the VFL. His in-and-under style would be handy against the big bodies of Geelong. Melbourne would be considering Sam Blease to add some pace although his average disposal in the VFL means he is not bashing the door down demanding to be named. Viv Michie and Jay Kennedy-Harris will also be considered, particularly with the Darwin conditions likely to test the recovery powers of a few players. - Peter Ryan

Co-vice-captain Jack Ziebell (knee) could return this round after missing last Friday night's big win over Hawthorn, but faces a fitness test. However, star midfielder Daniel Wells (foot) and key defender Nathan Grima (foot) are both still at least two weeks away from returning. Midfielders Brad McKenzie (28 possessions) and Trent Dumont (27) were among North Ballarat's best players in the Roosters' loss to fellow North affiliate Werribee last Saturday, while demoted defender Aaron Mullett was solid on a wing in his first game in the VFL since 2012. Defender Taylor Hine (21 disposals) was North's best player for Werribee. - Nick Bowen

Defender Steven Morris has served his one-match suspension for a pair of high bumps and is available to return against Port Adelaide on Sunday. The Tigers should also be boosted by the return of midfielder Matt Thomas, who was a late withdrawal last week with Achilles tendon soreness, as well as Nick Vlastuin, who missed with a corked thigh. In the VFL, mature-age recruit Sam Lloyd is fighting hard to regain his place in the forward line. He booted two goals at the weekend and was among the Tigers' best players, winning 15 of his 20 possessions in contests. Tall forward Liam McBean booted five goals, while midfielder Matt McDonough finished with two goals and 24 possessions. Prized draftee Ben Lennon was played forward, tackled well and should regain his spot at AFL level in the coming weeks. - Nathan Schmook     

Jackson Trengove (ankle) remains several weeks away from a return, while Alipate Carlile (hamstring) also needs at least another game on the sidelines. Thankfully for Ken Hinkley the Power didn't register any fresh injuries in their loss to Essendon last weekend, but the coach has several players pushing for selection in the SANFL, in particular Ben Newton and Tom Clurey. Andrew Moore and Paul Stewart will both make their SANFL returns this weekend, which will add to the pressure on the senior players. - Harry Thring

The Saints are desperate to regain veteran midfielder Lenny Hayes after he was withdrawn from last week's squad to face Carlton with groin soreness. The 34-year-old's fate will take shape later in the week. Defender Sam Fisher returned from a back injury in the VFL and is getting close to AFL selection. In their search for another key forward, the Saints moved Josh Bruce into attack in the VFL and he impressed with 2.4. Defender Tom Simpkin was also played forward but didn't have the same impact. Midfielder Tom Curren was Sandringham's leading possession winner with 28 touches, while Brodie Murdoch and Josh Saunders are available if the axe is swung at selection. - Nathan Schmook  

Just as he did late last season, Shane Biggs is putting pressure on at the right time of the year. Biggs came from nowhere to play three games in 2013 – the round 23 game against Hawthorn and then the semi-final and preliminary final against Carlton and Fremantle respectively. Named a clear best on ground for the reserves in their NEAFL victory over Ainslie on Sunday, he is right in the mix for a senior recall. Tom Mitchell also impressed after recovering from an ankle injury, while Ryan O'Keefe was another strong performer. Dean Towers kicked three goals following his return from four weeks out with a fractured rib. Tough young midfielder Zak Jones will be monitored this week after he was substituted out of the victory over West Coast with concussion. - James Dampney

Veteran Ryan O'Keefe continues to bang on the door of a senior recall for the Swans. Picture: AFL Media

With finals slipping away and injuries to key players such as Matt Rosa, out for the season, Adam Simpson has declared that he will give opportunities to fringe players over the next few weeks. Brant Colledge won't get his chance because he'll miss a month with an ankle injury. Dom Sheed had 25 disposals, 11 marks, and kicked 2.2 in East Perth's big win in the WAFL on Saturday and will certainly come into calculations. Ash Smith has been in good form in the WAFL and again he gathered 20 touches and kicked two goals. Jamie Bennell was dropped last week having failed in some non-negotiable areas, according to the coach. He had 11 touches in the WAFL in defence when East Perth's opponents, Peel, kicked just six goals. The rucks scenario is a lottery. Nic Naitanui was rested last week. Callum Sinclair was held out of the WAFL for the Eagles match with the Swans last Sunday but didn't play.  - Alex Malcolm

The Dogs appear to have got through the weekend's cold and wet slog against the Cats unscathed, but they may look to refresh a side bound for the warm conditions of Cairns with only a six-day break to recover. Veteran Daniel Giansiracusa is available after serving a two-match suspension and may be included to add some much needed firepower up forward. The club's VFL team had several good performers in its seventh-straight win of the season, with running defenders Sam Darley and Brett Goodes named in the bests. Key defender Michael Talia and ruckman Tom Campbell also put their hands up for a recall with impressive performances. - Ryan Davidson