We're nearing the halfway mark of the 2022 AFL season, with clubs looking to settle on their standards for the year ahead.
With injuries ever-present in the league, we take a look at who is set for a stint on the sidelines and who is in the selection frame ahead of Round 10.
For all listed injuries, visit our INJURIES AND SUSPENSIONS page.
Hawks latest club forced into change for Round 10
Jack Scrimshaw (shoulder) will be replaced in tomorrow’s selected side by Liam Shiels.
Josh Morris will come into the emergency list.
— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) May 21, 2022
Final teams and medical subs will be confirmed an hour before the opening bounce, with the match between Hawthorn and Brisbane to commence at 3:20pm AEST on Sunday at the University of Tasmania Stadium.
Giants confirm trifecta of late outs
GWS' interim coach Mark McVeigh will be forced to face the Eagles without the services of Braydon Preuss, Lachie Ash and Tim Taranto after the trio failed to prove their fitness ahead of Sunday's clash.
While the ruckman, rebounder and hybrid threat were all initially named in McVeigh's debut squad, illness and injury were recorded and the root causes for the group's exclusion.
Preuss, Ash and Taranto will now join the likes of Lachie Whitfield (ankle), Nick Haynes (illness), Conor Stone (hamstring), Finn Callaghan (shoulder), Lachlan Keeffe and Cooper Hamilton (omitted) on the sidelines.
Demons lose hard-nosed midfielder for Roos clash
"Unfortunately Jack had some hamstring awareness towards the end of our final training session this morning," Demons football boss Alan Richardson told Narrm Media.
"We will monitor Jack closely over the next few days and we're hopeful that he will be available next week."
Uncapped Demon Bailey Laurie has been named as an emergency for the match, with final teams to be confirmed at 3:35pm - one hour before the bounce.
Friday, May 20...
Tiger ruled out of Bombers bout with toe injury
The change follows the inclusions of defensive pair Josh Gibcus and Robbie Tarrant for Round 10, while veteran Shane Edwards has retained a place in the starting side after being named as the medical sub last week.
Eagles lose recruit to health and safety protocols
When it rains, it pours. The Eagles are copping a hammering right now and the news gets worse with Sam Petrevski-Seton entering health and safety protocols.
After battling a leg infection, forward Jamie Cripps will come into the side for Sunday’s game, however will still need to pass medical tests on Friday.
“Watch this space. We could have another debutant. Could be our 14th debutant. Could be the medical sub, Zane or Rhett. That’s not ideal but we don’t have a choice," he told media.
“Yeo won’t play WAFL, he will travel with us and train, get connected with the group.” Simpson said.
In better news, Dom Sheed will play WAFL next week according to Simpson.
“Dom Sheed will play some WAFL footy next week," he said. "He’s a very important player, we’ve missed him. He’s busting the door down."
Lions swing late change
Lester was named at full forward for the Lions, with Fullarton now gaining his second chance in the first team for this season.
Bombers backman ruled out of Dreamtime
Reports emerged earlier in the week that Ridley would need to prove his fitness ahead of the clash at the MCG as he battled a leg injury, however the Dons have confirmed the best and fairest winner will miss after being required to isolate.
Cutler was originally omitted for the match, with the defender having now gained a reprieve.
Thursday, May 19...
Whitfield ruled out with ankle complaint
As first reported by Mitch Cleary, the underperforming rebounder will not be named within interim head coach Mark McVeigh's line-up to face the travelling Eagles on Sunday afternoon.
Giants star Lachie Whitfield will miss this week's clash against West Coast with an ankle injury. https://t.co/gYwsXEwbhW
— Mitch Cleary (@cleary_mitch) May 19, 2022
The extent of Whitfield's ankle ailment is not yet known.
Tigers provide update on hampered trio
According to club reports, Balta is expected to undergo a rehabilitation program, with Tigers' Physical Performance Manager Peter Burge claiming the Calder Cannons product faced at least a fortnight on the sidelines.
"Noah had an incident later in the game (against Hawthorn) kicking a long kick inside-50. He changed his kick at the last minute, which probably contributed a little bit to the injury," Burge told richmondfc.com.au.
"He's got a typical hamstring strain, but a kicking-related hamstring strain. He's already moving quite well, he's had three running sessions this week already and he's feeling pretty good."
"I think the Sydney game will be a stretch, so it's more after the bye that we think his return will be," he added.
"He's in a rehab process now and we'll progress his high-speed running, his sprinting and his kicking progression to make sure we tick that off."
Jack Graham remains 'questionable' to line up against the Dons at the MCG on Saturday night, with the hard-nosed mid reporting soreness with a toe.
Burge delineated that it had been an injury that had hampered the 24-year-old during last weekend's victory over the Hawks.
"We had some scans earlier in the week and it was good news in a sense that some of the soft tissue tendon is in tact and there's no real damage there, it's just the big toe joint that we're dealing with," Burge said of Graham's current ailments.
"He was barely able to walk the first two days of this week, but was walking much better yesterday and today he had a jog and even did some light strides and is feeling a lot better. So, we're going to assess him again tomorrow and we'll make a call on his selection."
Dangerfield facing illness battle
Having missed already missed consecutive games against North Melbourne and Fremantle earlier in the season with soreness, the Cats will have been hoping to have had the Brownlow medalist available for their all-important date with the Power.
However, as reported by SEN's Sam Edmund, the 32-year-old has been bowled over by a virus in the days leading up to selection night.
PATRICK Dangerfield is in doubt for Sat clash against Port Adelaide with a virus.
The Cats superstar has been sick for most of the week & hasn’t been able to train or attend the club.
Dangerfield missed Rnds 6 & 7 with soreness, but has been particularly unwell in recent days.
— Sam Edmund (@Sammy__Edmund) May 19, 2022
Though not listed as COVID, Dangerfield will be facing a similar fight to opposing midfielder Travis Boak to be fit and firing for this weekend.
It is not yet known whether the ex-Crow's illness has been isolated to him alone or whether Chris Scott's side can expect a fleet of last-minute replacements.
Trio of Dockers linked with Round 10 return
Following their unexpected loss to the Gold Coast Suns at Carrara last Sunday, Fremantle could well be afforded the ability to call on Alex Pearce, Sam Switkowski and Matt Taberner this weekend against Collingwood.
Within his Thursday morning presser, Dockers head coach Justin Longmuir delineated that both Pearce and Switkowski were pressing hard to return from an ankle complaint and concussion respectively.
Justin Longmuir is speaking to media via Zoom ahead of today's main training.
— Fremantle Dockers (@freodockers) May 19, 2022
Taberner, previously ruled out with a hamstring concern, will need to "tick a few boxes today before he puts his hand up for selection" according to Longmuir.
Michael Walters is also expected to return following his stint out due to health and safety protocols. Should the veteran line up against the Pies at Optus Stadium, he will do so in a guernsey he helped design in honour of Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
Key Hawks back for Brisbane battle
Hawthorn will welcome back a genuine speedster and their list's sole Brownlow medalist this weekend for their clash against the Lions in the Launceston this weekend.
After missing a month of action due to a hamstring complaint, Changkuoth Jiath appears a certainty to retake his place across half-back on Sunday afternoon at York Park, per reports from AFL Media.
The Bunjil Bagora-based club will also welcome back Tom Mitchell, with the stellar mid said to have shaken off the illness-related qualms that saw him miss Hawthorn's loss to the Tigers last Saturday.
Head coach Sam Mitchell explained that after a week off, the ex-Swan was champing at the bit to get his hands dirty in the Apple Isle.
"Tommy will definitely play and start in the centre bounce. We look forward to what he'll produce. He is already a little bit more vibrant and up and about," Mitchell said of his namesake.
"He is a very important part of our team and midfield. We've been struggling a little bit in that area, so really looking forward to a bit of extra freshness into Tommy, hopefully, he can produce his best footy.
"He got sick and didn’t really get over it, then played and went into a hole after that. He just hadn’t been his normal energetic self; normally he is running around like a lunatic, always doing extras. It was a good idea to give him that circuit breaker."
Blues duo set to return, ex-Dee done for year
Stocker had been sidelined since injuring his AC joint against North Melbourne in Round 7, however, after rehabilitating across the course of the past fortnight, the 22-year-old is in line for a return for the clash with the Swans.
Young is set to be reinstated into the Blues' back six after missing the club's 30-point win over GWS last Sunday.
However, in a blow to Michael Voss' backline, depth option Oscar McDonald is set to miss the remainder of Carlton's season after sustaining a stress fracture in his back.
Ex-skipper in iso ahead of Cats clash
Boak, a product of the Surf Coast, is sure to have circled the fixture some time ago given the possibility of playing before family and friends.
However, with Corey Norris of 9News tweeting that the 33-year-old has been placed in quarantine, Boak's ability to lace the boots this weekend has been placed in jeopardy.
— Corey Norris (@coreynorris9) May 19, 2022
Despite suggestions that Boak has not been hit with COVID and still has until Sunday afternoon to prove his fitness, it is not yet known whether the veteran will be removed from Ken Hinkley's line-up or not.
Yet, given Port is still heavily reliant on the champion midfielder's output, and taking into account their need to continue winning to square their ledger following a 0-5 start, Boak is sure to be given every chance to make the journey to Geelong.
Wednesday, May 18 ...
Geelong set to welcome back luckless forward
The 30-year-old hasn't featured for the Cats since 2021's preliminary final, dealing with sciatica issues throughout his hip and back that kept him on the sidelines for much of the beginning of 2022.
Having gained valuable match fitness in two VFL matches in the last month, Scott believes that Rohan will feature in the senior side this weekend.
"The plan, given there was a VFL bye last week, was to have him ready to play last week, knowing there was a bit of a buffer there," Scott told media on Wednesday.
"He did a training load, which was in excess of his game load the previous couple of weeks.
"I'm pretty sure he's going to play."
Veteran Pie, star mid in doubt for Fremantle clash
Steele Sidebottom was missing at Collingwood training on Tuesday night after being struck down by the flu currently travelling through the Collingwood camp, while Jack Crisp was absent from training on Wednesday morning.
Collingwood have remained tightlipped on the wellbeing of the duo, but both loom as possible exclusions from the team scheduled to head West, though the Pies may be strengthened by some big inclusions.
Scott Pendlebury and Jack Ginnivan both loom as inclusions after missing Round 9 with illness, while Jamie Elliot is reportedly nearing a return from a shoulder injury that has kept him on the sidelines since Round 4.
Not the consecutive games streak! Jack Crisp at home sick & absent from Collingwood training today. Has played 172 straight matches. Of course, still time to recover and board flight to Perth to face Freo on Sunday. Steele Sidebottom was also away yesterday & today with same bug
— Sam Edmund (@Sammy__Edmund) May 18, 2022
Tuesday, May 17 ...
Tigers tall to miss Dreamtime, gun onballer in doubt
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick confirmed on Tuesday that Balta will miss selection this week due to the ailment, with young defender Josh Gibcus and veteran backman Robbie Tarrant in the frame to replace the key-position Tiger.
Gibcus will return from AFL health and safety protocols on Wednesday and will need to prove his fitness at training later in the week, while Tarrant will be out to show he's fit and firing after being managed whilst battling a hip issue in recent weeks.
The Tigers will also be forced to weigh up the selection of Jack Graham, who remains a "50-50" chance to be named for Round 10 after suffering a foot injury.
Hardwick has confirmed Maurice Rioli Jnr has held his place in the side after a quiet outing against the Hawks last Saturday, with the son-of-a-gun set to feature in his first Dreamtime blockbuster.
The Tigers will also have young defender Rhyan Mansell available after serving his one-game ban, while wingman Marlion Pickett will await his fate for the weekend after appealing his suspension for a bump on Hawthorn's Dylan Moore.
Hawks ball-magnet to return, veteran forward sidelined
Mitchell was managed for the Hawks' loss to Richmond last week, with his coach revealing on Footy Classified on Monday night that the Brownlow medallist will return for Sunday's fixture.
The news will be met with the sour news of Jack Gunston's latest setback, with AFL.com.au reporting the veteran sharpshooter is set to miss multiple weeks with a sprained ankle.
Not great news for @HawthornFC star Jack Gunston. Scans have confirmed a medial sprain of his right ankle. Expected to miss at least two weeks, but could be as many as six weeks. Return date is unclear at this stage. More to come @AFLcomau
— Josh Gabelich (@JoshGabelich) May 17, 2022
Gunston has played all nine matches to start this season, making his return from a significant back injury that limited the forward to one game in 2021.
Defender Jack Scrimshaw will also be a watch for this week after suffering a shoulder injury in the 23-point loss to the Tigers.
Star Dogs pair a test for Ballarat bout with Suns
English has been sidelined since Round 5 with a hamstring injury, and was unable to make his return last week against Collingwood due to illness.
The Dogs ruckman was even required to spend time in hospital last week and is still continuing in his recovery from a bout of the flu.
Naughton suffered a number of knee issues in last Friday's win and will also be a test for Round 9, having "over flexed a jammed knee joint", according to the club's head of sports medicine Chris Bell.
Forgotten utility Jason Johannisen is also in line for a potential return this week after overcoming recovering from a calf injury.
The Dogs will give Johannisen every chance to deem himself fit for Saturday's clash.
Monday, May 16...
Fremantle set to welcome back attacking power
Fremantle are looking likely to make big changes to their squad after their disappointing 33-point loss to the Suns. Forward Sam Switkowski is among the names ready to get back into the action after successfully recovering from concussion.
Michael Walters is also looking likely to return, with the veteran making his way out of health and safety protocols. Tall forward Matt Taberner is also hopeful to return after making good progress recovering from a hamstring injury.
Dockers coach Justin Longmuir is keen for the returning players to get back into action, hopefully bringing some much-needed experience back into the squad.
"We will get a few back absolutely,” Longmuir said
Draftee Jye Amiss would be a suitable alternative if Taberner is not yet fit enough to return. The forward looked lively in Round 8 against North Melbourne, kicking two goals before being substituted.
Sam Sturt is another potential alternative. The medium forward has been putting up impressive performances weekly in the WAFL with back-to-back games kicking three goals. Sturt has not featured in the first team since Round 4 last year due to injury.
Gun Saint to continue in VFL
Saints midfielder Hunter Clark will make his return to action after recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in the AAMI Community Series match against Essendon, with the 23-year-old to suit up for the Saints VFL side this weekend.
Saints Coach Brett Ratten spoke to SEN Breakfast on Monday, stating he is a bit frustrated with the timing of last week's bye, as Clark had managed one game in the VFL prior to the break.
“He played one game, not last week but the week before, in the VFL and they had a bye this week which is real shame. He was building momentum,” Ratten said.
“He needed another game. I think he got close to 30 possessions, but it wasn’t the Hunter Clark that we knew. We need him to hit through the ball a bit more and use the ball a little bit better.”
“We gave him [Owens] a freshen up and he kicked two goals last week and had 32 possessions and nine or 10 clearances,” Ratten said.
“Jack Bytel is another that’s finding a lot of the ball. The depth is pretty good. A couple of players not quite ready to come in, but they’re not far away either.”
Saints skipper Jack Steele will miss up to two months after requiring shoulder surgery, potentially opening the door for Owens and Bytel to make their returns to Ratten's side.
Star Roo to return for Dees clash
North midfielder Jy Simpkin is all set to return this week after missing his side's Round 9 game against Port Adelaide. Simpkin was taken out of the team as a late omission due to hamstring tightness, while also being bedridden earlier in the week with a virus.
Jy Simpkin is set to return this weekend. The @NMFCOfficial midfielder was a late out against Port Adelaide due to hamstring tightness. He was also bedridden earlier in the week with a virus. Story soon on @AFLcomau
— Josh Gabelich (@JoshGabelich) May 16, 2022
No updates have been made on top draft pick Jason Horne-Francis, although the midfielder only missed the Port Adelaide game due to mild hamstring soreness. The 19-year-old had played every game for the Roos so far this season, so his omission from the previous round may have come down to load management.
Charlie Lazarro and Josh Goater are putting their hands up for selection in the VFL, with the struggling Roos likely to make a few changes in the coming rounds in an attempt to fix their problems.
Lazarro ended his last game with 13 disposals, four tackles and two goals, while Goater impressed with 12 possessions, four marks and two tackles.