Thursday, 16 August 2012
Geelong star forward Tom Hawkins has proved his fitness to face St Kilda on Friday night while five AFL premiership teammates will return from injury to join him.
The Cats have regained three of their biggest names Paul Chapman, James Kelly and Joel Corey, along with No.1 ruckman Trent West and defender Josh Hunt.
Further tipping the balance Geelong's way, St Kilda skipper Nick Riewoldt is out with a knee injury, although Jason Blake and Adam Schneider will return.
Hawkins said on Thursday he had passed the tests required to prove he has recovered from the concussion he sustained against West Coast last Friday night.
Essendon will be hugely boosted for their finals-shaping clash with Carlton at the MCG on Saturday by the return from injury of star big man Patrick Ryder, midfield stalwart Brent Stanton and reigning best and fairest David Zaharakis.
While the Bombers have been belted by injury this season, after regaining Dustin Fletcher, Stewart Crameri, Michael Hibberd and Angus Monfries last round, they are now close to full strength.
The Blues welcomed back skipper Chris Judd from suspension as they fight to keep their season alive.
Hawthorn have regained key forwards Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead to play Gold Coast at the MCG on Sunday, but lost Cyril Rioli (shoulder) and Josh Gibson (ankle).
The Suns were forced into five changes, including losing David Swallow (knee) and Trent McKenzie (club suspension).
North Melbourne lost Daniel Wells, Leigh Adams and Nathan Grima to injury for Saturday night's clash with unchanged Collingwood.
But Jack Ziebell and Lindsay Thomas return from suspension, with defender Luke Delaney the other inclusion.
Adelaide have named key forward Kurt Tippett to return from concussion against Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night, pending a medical clearance on Friday.
Defender Matt Maguire returns for the Lions.
Fremantle welcomed back Nathan Fyfe and Luke McPharlin for Saturday's Patersons Stadium meeting with Richmond.
Ruckman Aaron Sandilands, out since round 11 with a toe injury, was named as an emergency.
Sydney star forward Sam Reid will make his return from a knee injury against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday.
The Dogs regained Ryan Griffen, Shaun Higgins and Easton Wood, while Adam Cooney has been included on their extended bench.
Melbourne key position pair Jack Watts and James Frawley will return for Saturday's meeting with Greater Western Sydney in Canberra, but midfielder Brent Moloney was dropped.
The injury-forced loss of forward Jeremy Cameron (hip) was among five Giants changes, with midfielder Toby Greene among their inclusions.
Port Adelaide have lost Troy Chaplin (knee) and Hamish Hartlett (suspension) for Sunday's match against West Coast.
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