ST KILDA’s finals hopes have been dealt a huge blow with Nick Riewoldt ruled out of Sunday’s must-win AFL match against Melbourne.
The retiring veteran failed a concussion test after copping a knock to the head during last week’s win over West Coast.
He is the Saints’ only omission for the MCG clash, while veteran defender Sam Gilbert is among four additions to their extended squad after a month on the sidelines with a hand injury.
“We’re hopeful Nick will only miss one game, but he will go through the standard concussion protocols next week before being declared available for selection,” Saints football boss Jamie Cox said.
Melbourne swung a selection surprise, dropping highly rated defenders Christian Salem and Sam Frost.
Tough midfielder Angus Brayshaw is a chance to play his first game since round two after a long battle with concussion-related issues.
Forward Jack Watts, who has struggled in recent weeks, has been named on the Demons’ extended bench.
The Western Bulldogs welcome back Jake Stringer, Tory Dickson and Josh Dunkley for Friday night’s big clash with Greater Western Sydney.
Gun forwards Jonathon Patton and Toby Greene return for the Giants.
Sydney will again be without skipper Josh Kennedy (hamstring) for Saturday’s away game against Fremantle.
Richmond confirmed the return of spearhead Jack Riewoldt to face Geelong at Simonds Stadium.
Coming back for the Cats are Brownlow Medallist Patrick Dangerfield, Steven Motlop and Daniel Menzel.
Joel Selwood (ankle) and suspended duo Tom Hawkins and Mitch Duncan are all unavailable.
Brisbane will start favourites in Saturday’s Q-Clash with Gary Ablett (hamstring) and Tom Lynch (knee) ruled out for Gold Coast.
West Coast have recalled retiring veteran Matt Priddis, wingman Lewis Jetta and ruckman Nathan Vardy to face Carlton.
Eagles stalwarts Chris Masten and Will Schofield were both omitted.
Ladder leaders Adelaide will go in unchanged for Saturday night’s clash with Essendon at Etihad Stadium.
The Bombers have made five changes, with Zach Merrett suspended and top draft pick Andrew McGrath among the inclusions.
Port Adelaide also swung the axe with Jackson Trengove among four omissions for Sunday’s game against Collingwood.
Star forward Chad Wingard will return from an ankle injury.
Daniel Wells (quad), Levi Greenwood (knee) and Brodie Grundy (suspension) have all been ruled out by the Magpies.
© AAP 2017