Brisbane will be boosted by the return of Eric Hipwood from a long-term knee injury as the Lions attempt to cover the loss of fellow forwards Daniel McStay and Joe Daniher.
Hipwod will play his first AFL game since last July when the Lions face the Crows at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
The 24-year-old has been on the sidelines since rupturing his ACL against St Kilda in round 17 last year.
Hipwood’s comeback is timely given the Lions (7-1) have lost McStay (ankle) and Daniher (shoulder) to injury in consecutive matches.
McStay and Daniher are expected to miss up to six weeks as the club looks to build on their best start to a season since the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy Lions merged in 1996.
The Crows have swung the axe following two big defeats, with ruckman Reilly O’Brien the surprise casualty among the five outs.
Brodie Smith and Darcy Fogarty are back for Adelaide as they look to pull off a major upset.
Meanwhile, Sydney will welcome back key ruckman Tom Hickey, who has not played an AFL game since injuring his knee against the Western Bulldogs in round three.
Hickey looked comfortable in last week’s VFL match and the 31-year-old looms as a key addition for the Swans’ important clash with Essendon at the SCG on Saturday night.
The Bombers will regain four of the five players who were struck down with illness before last week’s memorable comeback victory over Hawthorn.
Rising Collingwood star Jack Ginnivan will sit out the Magpies’ Friday night clash with the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium after falling ill.
The Bulldogs will slot Marcus Bontempelli back in after the captain was managed against Port Adelaide last week.
Luke Beveridge’s team also gets relief in defence with Alex Keath finally overcoming a persistent hamstring strain.
North Melbourne’s tumultuous week has continued with No.1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis to miss Saturday’s match against the Power.
Key Kangaroos defender Ben McKay (knee) and midfielder Hugh Greenwood (COVID-19 protocols) also won’t make the trip to Hobart.
Richmond will hand a debut to athletic defender Bigoa Nyuon with fellow youngster Josh Gibcus missing.
The Tigers have picked premiership heroes Dion Presita and Nick Vlastuin to face Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday.
GWS have added Conor Stone, Matt de Boer, Jake Riccardi and Tanner Bruhn to their extended squad for Leon Cameron’s farewell game as coach on Sunday when the Giants host Carlton.
The Blues will travel to Giants Stadium without star forward Harry McKay, who is facing six weeks out with a knee injury.