Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield has been ruled out of the Cats’ AFL clash with North Melbourne while Melbourne have dropped premiership forward Tom McDonald for their big game against Richmond.
Dangerfield was named on Thursday night despite struggling with his calf in the Easter Monday loss to Hawthorn.
But he withdrew along with defender Jack Henry (foot) on Friday evening, while Luke Dahlhaus is being managed.
Coach Chris Scott had on Friday morning flagged concerns over Dangerfield’s fitness ahead of Sunday’s clash at Blundstone Arena.
“He’s got a couple of corks in a calf,” Scott said.
“Murphy’s Law dictates that what can go wrong will go wrong, and he’s got a couple of corks right in the spot that had been worrying him.
“That obviously impacted him in the game, and I’ll just, as always, take the advice from our medical staff.”
Henry is also out after he had his foot, that had pre-season surgery, stepped on in the Hawthorn game.
His omission isn’t surprising as Scott had earlier flagged he was unlikely to play, though he was confident Henry’s foot injury wasn’t anything serious or long-term.
Defender Jed Bews (shoulder) is set to play while rookie Ollie Dempsey will make his AFL debut and Shaun Higgins and Jake Kolodjashnij return.
North Melbourne regain Cam Zurhaar and Tarryn Thomas while Paul Curtis will debut.
The Demons have recalled Ben Brown to play alongside resurgent key forward Sam Weideman, with McDonald missing out after just four goals in the opening four games.
Luke Dunstan, the former St Kilda midfielder, will debut.
Dunstan and Joel Smith will replace premiership stars Jake Lever and Jack Viney (health and safety protocols)
Richmond swung the axe for Sunday night’s clash, dropping Matthew Parker, Ben Miller and Jake Aarts.
Hugo Ralphsmith and Marlion Pickett are out injured but Josh Gibcus, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Rhyan Mansell and Kamdyn McIntosh return.
Brisbane are without Mitch Robinson (calf) but have regained Keidean Coleman.
Gold Coast’s Connor Budarick will make his return from an ACL injury.