ADELAIDE have suffered a major injury blow in the lead-up to the AFL Showdown with Rory Sloane succumbing to a fresh foot complaint.
The star midfielder will miss Saturday’s clash with Port Adelaide and is expected to remain sidelined for at least a fortnight, having re-injured his troublesome right foot at training.
Skipper Taylor Walker has returned from injury as expected alongside Myles Poholke, replacing Wayne Milera (hamstring) and Darcy Fogarty (omitted).
The Crows say Sloane suffered a mild ligament strain in an “innocuous” training incident, describing the injury as slightly different to the foot issue that had kept him sidelined since round four.
“At this stage, Rory will miss the next two games before we reassess his situation,” Crows football boss Brett Burton said.
“Surgery is not required but our medical advice suggests the best course of action is to rest and recover.”
Port have welcomed back Chad Wingard, Tom Rockliff and Sam Powell-Pepper while dropping Jasper Pittard and Karl Amon among four changes.
Geelong and Richmond both added big names for their games on Sunday.
Gary Ablett and Harry Taylor are among six inclusions in the Cats’ extended squad for their blockbuster clash with Collingwood, who have included Scott Pendlebury despite the Magpies skipper injuring his ankle in their win over Brisbane.
Daniel Wells has also been named for his first game of the season after battling hamstring and Achilles issues.
Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin missed last week’s win over Fremantle with a knee complaint but will return in place of Dion Prestia (calf) to face North Melbourne, who recalled veteran Jarrad Waite in place of Ed Vickers-Willis (knee).
The Western Bulldogs will welcome back stand-in skipper Marcus Bontempelli, who has overcome a hip complaint to join Lukas Webb in replacing omitted duo Lin Jong and Tim English for Saturday night’s clash with Brisbane.
Greater Western Sydney spearhead Jonathon Patton is the biggest omission for the round.
The 198cm forward has managed just four goals from seven games this season.
Tall duo Jeremy Cameron and Rory Lobb return for the Giants to face West Coast on Saturday along with debutant Isaac Cumming, while Dylan Buckley and Nick Shipley were also dropped.
The Eagles will also blood a debutant – their sixth for the season – in midfielder Brayden Ainsworth, who joins Fraser McInnes and Brendon Ah Chee in the 22.
West Coast will be without star duo Nic Naitanui (suspended) and Luke Shuey (hamstring), as well as speedster Jack Petruccelle (ankle).
Already without spearhead Joe Daniher (groin), Essendon have lost Andrew McGrath to a minor calf strain for Saturday’s clash with bottom-placed Carlton.
Orazio Fantasia and Shaun McKernan return to bolster the Bombers’ forward line.
Young gun Charlie Curnow is a welcome inclusion for the struggling Blues, who have dropped off-season recruit Matthew Kennedy.
Melbourne made one change for their game against Gold Coast, replacing Jayden Hunt with Christian Salem. Co-captain Steven May returns among three changes for the Suns.
Fremantle and St Kilda each made two changes for their match at Optus Stadium with Dockers recruit Nathan Wilson succumbing to back soreness and veteran Michael Johnson recalled.
Tom McCartin will debut for Sydney in their Friday night blockbuster against Hawthorn at the MCG but Lance Franklin (foot) and Dan Hannebery (groin) remain on the sidelines.
Hawthorn made two changes, adding Ricky Henderson and Will Langford in place of James Cousins and James Worpel.
© AAP 2018