Matthew Scharenberg leaves the ground injured during the game against Richmond.
Matthew Scharenberg leaves the ground injured during the game against Richmond.

Barometer: Could Pies’ injury crisis get any worse?

CAN Collingwood's injury curse get any worse?

The Magpies are fearing the worst for defender Matt Scharenberg who suffered a suspected ACL tear in the loss to Richmond on Saturday, while Jamie Elliott reinjured his hamstring in the VFL on Sunday and Jeremy Howe will be monitored and undergo concussion tests this week after copping a Darcy Moore knee to the face.

Swingman Brody Mihocek also had scans on Sunday to determine the extent of an ankle injury he sustained, but bravely played on against the Tigers.

Elliott will have scans on Monday, with the club to confirm the severity of the injury this week.

It is another bitter blow for the Magpies and coach Nathan Buckley, who had earmarked Elliott to play the Swans on Saturday night - in what would have been his first game since Round 23 last year - if he got through his second VFL match unscathed.

If an ACL tear is confirmed for Scharenberg, he will require his third knee reconstruction.

Collingwood's defence is decimated, with Scharenberg and Howe joining Lynden Dunn (knee), swingman Ben Reid (knees), Tyson Goldsack (knee) and Flynn Appleby (hamstring) in the casualty ward.

Jamie Elliott is injury again. He and Collingwood can’t take a trick.
Jamie Elliott is injury again. He and Collingwood can’t take a trick.

GEELONG has received a positive prognosis on Tom Stewart's ankle injury with the gun defender expected to return before the end of the home and away season.

But he is certain to miss Friday night's blockbuster against Richmond at the MCG and remains in doubt for the following week's Round 21 clash against Hawthorn.

Stewart hurt his left ankle in the win over Brisbane on Saturday, sparking fears the rebounding backman could be sidelined for months with a syndesmosis problem.

The same issue sidelined Joel Selwood for five weeks post-surgery before the Cats' finals series last year, and Cam Guthrie for two months this season.

But scans have cleared the South Barwon product of major damage, likely paving the way for Stewart's return in about three weeks.

It means Stewart, 25, could be in line for a return against Fremantle at the Cattery in Round 22.

Stewart was in a moon boot after the game on Saturday and will undergo intensive treatment to ready the backman for a crack at a Geelong premiership.

Tom Stewart was in a moon boot at the end of the Geelong v Brisbane game. Picture: Getty
Tom Stewart was in a moon boot at the end of the Geelong v Brisbane game. Picture: Getty

He has been a crucial cog in the club's defensive operations in the absence of veteran swingman Harry Taylor, who is out for an unspecified time with a foot issue.

The Cats are relieved Stewart's injury was not worse after limping from the ground in the first term against the Lions.

ADELAIDE

INJURIES

Paul Seedsman (hamstring) TBC

Tom Doedee (concussion) test

Richard Douglas (ankle) test

David Mackay (ribs) test

Jackson Edwards (ankle) 1 week

Kyle Hartigan (knee) 1-2 weeks

Harry Dear (knee) 1-2 weeks

Andrew McPherson (hamstring) indefinite

Reilly O'Brien (shoulder) season

Brad Crouch (groin) season

ON THE CUSP: Brodie Smith is poised to play his first AFL game of the season after two impressive SANFL performances on the comeback from a knee reconstruction. The Crows could regain a swag this week with Richard Douglas, David Mackay and Tom Doedee all expected to be available for selection, while Cameron Ellis-Yolmen and Pat Wilson both dominated in the reserves on Saturday.

ON THE BLOCK: Paul Seedsman is almost certain to miss the Showdown with a hamstring injury sustained in Saturday night's loss to Melbourne, while Jordan Gallucci was quiet. Can't see the Crows dropping Mitch McGovern who only had nine disposals as he builds his match fitness.

REECE HOMFRAY'S FORECAST: Every Showdown is huge but the Crows have the chance to make things really difficult for Port Adelaide. They'll have long memories from Ken Hinkley's post-game celebrations when he signalled '1-0' with his fingers so will be eager to settle the score. Expect Doedee to recover from concussion and Douglas and Mackay will both push their claims for a recall after missing the past month with injury. Adelaide did a lot right against Melbourne - won contested possession and laid 103 tackles - but a patch in the third quarter cost them and they'll be desperate to avoid a repeat against their arch-rival this Saturday night.

Paul Seedsman injured his hamstring on Saturday night. Picture: Sarah Reed
Paul Seedsman injured his hamstring on Saturday night. Picture: Sarah Reed

BRISBANE LIONS

INJURIES

Marco Paparone (hamstring) 1 week

Tom Cutler (suspension) available Round 21

Corey Lyons (hand) 2 weeks

Tom Fullarton (calf) 2-3 weeks

Charlie Cameron (ankle) season

Matt Eagles (abdominal) season

Jack Payne (shin) season

ON THE BLOCK: No fresh injury concerns. Oscar McInerney is on thin ice after four disposals and eight hit-outs as Stef Martin's back-up. Jake Barrett is just hanging in there and young stars Eric Hipwood, Cam Rayner and Hugh McCluggage were all quiet against the Cats.

ON THE CUSP: Claye Beams mirrored his brother's heroics, collecting 24 disposals and two goals in a NEAFL win against Gold Coast. Liam Dawson, Archie Smith and Ryan Bastinac were named in the best.

AL PATON'S FORECAST: A disappointing second half against Geelong after a very good first 60 minutes - and past month - by Chris Fagan's men. Next week they host North Melbourne at the Gabba and they aren't without a chance, but from here it's all about the cross-town rivalry with Gold Coast. The two teams are level on four wins and face off in another Q-Clash in Round 22. We're backing the Lions.

Jacob Weitering needed to be helped from the field after copping a knock to his leg. Picture: Getty
Jacob Weitering needed to be helped from the field after copping a knock to his leg. Picture: Getty

CARLTON

INJURIES

Jacob Weitering (leg) test

Matthew Kreutzer (heart) test

Cillian McDaid (foot) 1 week

Jesse Glass-McCasker (knee) 2 weeks

David Cuningham (hamstring) 3 weeks

Kym LeBois (hamstring) 3 weeks

Sam Docherty (knee) season

Zac Fisher (lower leg) season

Liam Jones (knee) season

Andrew Phillips (hamstring) season

Lachie Plowman (knee) season

Alex Silvagni (Achilles) season

Tom Williamson (back) season

ON THE BLOCK: Don't expect too many changes at the Blues this week after finally registering their second win of the season. Brendon Bolton will want to reward the players who delivered the victory. The Blues will be sweating on the match review findings on Monday after Charlie Curnow clipped Steven May with a high elbow. Jacob Weitering will be assessed this week after suffering what Bolton believed post-match was a corked quad. Ruckman Matthew Lobbe will be the unlucky one if Matthew Kreuzer is fit to return from his heart issue. Cam Polson doesn't get too much of the ball but the Blues love the pressure he brings.

ON THE CUSP: Kreuzer will likely see a specialist again this week to assess whether he's fit to return after experiencing an increased heart rate. The Blues are taking a very cautious approach with his availability. Levi Casboult put his hand up for an immediate recall with three goals and eight marks in the VFL after being dropped, while Pat Kerr also impressed with four goals for Northern Blues.

KATE SALEMME'S FORECAST: There will be a buzz around Ikon Park this week after Carlton finally secured its second win of the season and provided supporters with a glimpse of its potential for the future. Patrick Cripps starred again and Marc Murphy led from the front, while Sam Petresvki-Seton played arguably his best game for the year, Matt Kennedy showed his ability and Curnow, Paddy Dow and Darcy Lang were all valuable contributors. It's a tough ask against GWS at Etihad Stadium on Sunday but the club will approach the game with nothing to lose and take confidence in the fact it upset the Giants at the venue last year. The Blues have winnable games against Fremantle (away) - the players have an opportunity to make amends for one of its worst losses ever when they were smashed by the Dockers in Round 13 - before facing Western Bulldogs in Round 22. Can they finish the season with a rush?

The Pies are fearing the worst on Matt Scharenberg’s knee injury. Picture: Getty
The Pies are fearing the worst on Matt Scharenberg’s knee injury. Picture: Getty

COLLINGWOOD

INJURIES

Matthew Scharenberg (knee) TBC

Jamie Elliott (hamstring) TBC
Jeremy Howe (concussion) test

Brody Mihocek (ankle) test

Ben Reid (knees/calf) test

Brayden Sier (leg) test

Jordan De Goey (leg) 1 week

Tyson Goldsack (knee) 1-2 weeks

Flynn Appleby (hamstring) 2-3 weeks

Rupert Wills (hamstring) 2-3 weeks

Adam Treloar (hamstring) 5-6 weeks

Kayle Kirby (heart issue) indefinite

Lynden Dunn (knee) season

Daniel Wells (foot) season

Tim Broomhead (broken leg) season

ON THE BLOCK: Another costly weekend on the injury front for the luckless Magpies. Just a day after Matt Scharenberg's likely ACL injury - his third - forward Jamie Elliott suffered another hamstring issue in Sunday's VFL game. That could also mean season over for Elliott, which would be a significant blow. Brody Mihocek must overcome an ankle injury to play against Sydney, and he is needed more than ever down back in the wake of Scharenberg's injury. Jeremy Howe will be monitored throughout the week following his concussion.

ON THE CUSP: James Aish, Ben Crocker, Alex Fasolo, Jarryd Blair and Sam McLarty were among the Magpie-listed players in the club's VFL win over North Melbourne. Crocker, Blair and Fasolo each kicked two goals. Tyson Goldsack is likely to continue on with his remarkable recovery from a pre-season knee reconstruction as he pushes towards a possible VFL return within two weeks.

GLENN McFARLANE'S FORECAST: Any danger of Collingwood, and its coach Nathan Buckley, cutting a break from the injury chaos that has made for so many challenges this season? The Magpies have been exceptionally brave, but something had to give in the last term against Richmond, as the Tigers kicked away. Buckley is convinced the psyche of the players remains strong. The Swans at the SCG won't look as formidable as it would have at the start of the year, given their recent run of outs, but it will still be a challenge. Huge game with significant ramifications for both sides.

ESSENDON

INJURIES

Kyle Langford (concussion) test

Matt Dea (concussion) test

Martin Gleeson (ankle) 3-4 weeks

Joe Daniher (groin) indefinite

Patrick Ambrose (hamstring) season

Josh Begley (knee) season

Shaun McKernan (hamstring) season

Mason Redman (ankle) season

ON THE BLOCK: Kyle Langford was sent to hospital after a heavy bump late on Friday night but has been cleared of serious injury despite experiencing pain in an arm. The club expects him to be fit to play this week but he will be monitored. Matt Dea was stretchered from the field after landing heavily in a marking contest and was ruled out for the game with concussion. He will also be monitored and undergo concussion tests this week.

ON THE CUSP: The Bombers' VFL side had a bye over the weekend so the likes of Travis Colyer and Ben McNiece, who were dropped for the win over the Swans, didn't get an opportunity to press their claims for an immediate recall.

KATE SALEMME'S FORECAST: Can the Bombers make the finals? They're definitely in the mix after winning eight of their last 10 games and present a genuine threat to teams currently in the top eight. Saturday afternoon's clash against Hawthorn is critical - win that and belief at Tullamarine will skyrocket. Essendon should be able to account for St Kilda in Round 21, and will likely see that as an opportunity to boost its modest percentage of 102.8, before season-defining matches against Richmond and Port Adelaide (away). John Worsfold's team will need to put in a flawless last month to keep the dream alive.

Matt Dea was knocked out after a marking contest against the Swans. Picture: Michael Klein
Matt Dea was knocked out after a marking contest against the Swans. Picture: Michael Klein

FREMANTLE

INJURIES

Cam Sutcliffe (hamstring) TBC

Lee Spurr (knee) TBC

Ryan Nyhuis (suspended) 1 week

Nat Fyfe (hamstring) 2 weeks

Aaron Sandilands (calf) 2-3 weeks

Michael Apeness (hamstring) season

Connor Blakely (knee) season

Griffin Logue (ankle) season

ON THE BLOCK: Cam Sutcliffe's season could be over after a hamstring injury late in the loss to Hawthorn. The Dockers may consider giving some of their younger players who have carried a big workload this year a rest, with the likes of Stefan Giro and Brennan Cox patchy at the weekend.

ON THE CUSP: Matt Taberner booted three majors at WAFL level and looms as a huge chance to give Fremantle's forward set-up some much-needed potency. The derby could be the week for Harley Bennell's first game of the year, coming off 27 touches and two goals for Peel Thunder.

CHRIS ROBINSON'S FORECAST: The Derby spotlight shines bright in WA, and all eyes will be on whether Freo can produce an improved effort after fading badly against the Hawks. It would be a sweet victory to be able to spoil West Coast's top-two hopes.

GEELONG

INJURIES

Tom Stewart (ankle) 2-3 weeks

Aaron Black (knee) season

Nakia Cockatoo (knee) 6-8 weeks

Cory Gregson (foot) season

George Horlin-Smith (shoulder) 2-3 weeks

Lincoln McCarthy (hamstring) test

Esava Ratugolea (ankle) indefinite

Harry Taylor (foot soreness) indefinite

ON THE BLOCK: The Cats have had a settled line-up over the past couple of weeks as they seem to be gathering momentum at the right time. The injury to Tom Stewart will mean Jack Henry returns to defence after a couple of impressive weeks in the forward line.

ON THE CUSP: There are plenty of players putting their hands up in the seconds. Jackson Thurlow has been getting big numbers as has George Horlin-Smith, although he suffered an injury a couple of weeks ago. It depends whether Chris Scott goes for a defender in a straight swap for Stewart or looks at another midfielder. Jordan Murdoch has been a regular and could be the one to get the nod.

SCOTT GULLAN'S FORECAST: Just one change with either Murdoch or Thurlow coming in for Stewart in what looms as the Cats biggest game of the season against Richmond. The mix of small forwards looks to be right with Quinton Narkle, Lachie Fogarty and Jordan Cunico so Scott is likely to keep that trio for another week.

David Swallow suffered concussion after a brutal Patrick Cripps tackle.
David Swallow suffered concussion after a brutal Patrick Cripps tackle.

GOLD COAST

INJURIES

David Swallow (concussion) test

Callum Ah Chee (ill) test

Charlie Ballard (knee) TBC

Brayden Crossley (cheekbone) 1-2 weeks

Darcy MacPherson (broken leg) 2-3 weeks

Jack Martin (calf) 2-3 weeks

Tom Nicholls (shoulder) 2-3 weeks

Connor Nutting (leg) TBC

Harrison Wigg (fractured ankle) season

Mackenzie Willis (ACL) season

Sam Day (shoulder) season

Aaron Hall (pectoral) season

Josh Jaska (wrist) season

Tom Lynch (knee) season

ON THE BLOCK: Coach Stuart Dew warned of "unforced changes" after the dismal showing against the Blues but it is hard to know where to start. There is already likely to be one forced change with David Swallow suffering a heavy concussion in a tackle by Patrick Cripps. Picking the scapegoats from a team where no one bar the captain Steven May, ruckman Jarrod Witts, Will Brodie, Rory Thompson and Jarrod Harbrow offered much more than a yelp, is going to be a difficult decision. Jacob Heron, Wil Powell and Nick Holman would be the most nervous.

ON THE CUSP: It was a dark day for the Suns who also lost the NEAFL clash to the Lions. Ben Ainsworth and Pearce Hanley were the best players and are likely to return to the seniors. It was Ainsworth's first game back from a foot injury and Hanley's second after a long lay-off with a shoulder reconstruction. Elevated rookie Jacob Dawson was also one of the best.

ANDREW HAMILTON'S FORECAST: It could get really ugly from here. Melbourne at the MCG looms as a huge assignment and the Suns look like a side that have lost all desire to compete. Following that they have Richmond, the Q-Clash and the Cats. Dew must somehow develop a bit of personal pride among his troops. They showed against Sydney they can perform when there are no expectations. No one would be backing them against the Demons this week, but it is a stretch to imagine that unburdened by favouritism they can somehow pull off another upset. It is more likely to be a heavy defeat.

GWS GIANTS

INJURIES

Aidan Corr (groin) test

Ryan Griffen (hamstring) test

Tom Scully (ankle) TBC

Zac Williams (achilles) TBC

Will Setterfield (knee) season

Lachie Tiziani (knee) season

Jonathon Patton (knee) season

ON THE BLOCK: It's hard to drop players who have helped GWS to seven wins from their past eight outings but Sam Reid looks the unlucky one to make way for Jeremy Cameron's return from suspension.

ON THE CUSP: Cameron will be back after a five-week ban for his hit on Harris Andrews. The break has also helped him recover from a troublesome toe injury. Matt de Boer played well in the NEAFL, kicking three goals, and has put his hand up to play against Carlton on Sunday. Ryan Griffen (hamstring) and Aidan Corr (groin) are also close to making a return.

NEIL CORDY'S FORECAST: The Giants were not at their best against St Kilda, but they were coming off a big month having played Richmond, Hawthorn at home and Port Adelaide and West Coast away. Their premiership push is set to go up another level this week with the return of Cameron to an already impressive line-up.

HAWTHORN

INJURIES

Ben McEvoy (cheekbone) 2-3 weeks

James Sicily (wrist) 4 weeks

Daniel Howe (suspension) finals week one

Grant Birchall (knee) indefinite

ON THE BLOCK: The Hawks came out of the big win over Fremantle with a clean bill of health and it'd be hard to make any changes from that performance. James Worpel wasn't as prolific as he was against the Blues but had eight score involvements from his 16 disposals. Jono O'Rourke played one of his best games for the club with 20 disposals, while Shaun Burgoyne made a successful return from a hamstring injury.

ON THE CUSP: Taylor Duryea could be a chance to return after gathering 14 disposals in Box Hill's win over Sandringham. Ben McEvoy remains some weeks away from returning from a broken cheekbone but forgotten defender Grant Birchall is edging closer to a comeback as he steps up his training. The Hawks say he is now a "realistic" chance of playing this year.

KATE SALEMME'S FORECAST: The percentage-boosting victory over Fremantle has catapulted Hawthorn above Geelong and into seventh position on the ladder. With a healthy percentage of 122.7 (the third-best of teams in the top eight), Alastair Clarkson's team should make the finals from here but Saturday's clash against a red-hot Essendon at the MCG is massive. It's a must-win for both teams and there's nothing like another rivalry game with plenty on the line to get footy fans excited. It's a big month for the Hawks with Geelong to come in Round 21 - it'll be seventh v eighth on current ladder position - before a percentage-boosting opportunity against St Kilda and a huge clash against Sydney to finish. Destiny is in their own hands.

MELBOURNE

INJURIES

Jayden Hunt (ankle) 1 week

Dion Johnstone (quad) 1 week

Michael Hibberd (quad) 2 weeks

Jack Viney (toe) 3 weeks

Jake Lever (knee) season

Corey Maynard (hip) season

Billy Stretch (toe) season

ON THE BLOCK: The Demons flew home from Adelaide with four points and no injury issues. Hard to see many changes to the unchanged line-up that downed the Crows but Charlie Spargo and Joel Smith were quiet, while Bayley Fritsch was down on his recent form.

ON THE CUSP: Casey Scorpions had a bye in the VFL so no chance for fringe players to push their senior claims. Expect Simon Goodwin to hang the "no change" sign out this week.

AL PATON'S FORECAST: The wait is almost over, Demon fans. But unfortunately this week won't tell us a whole lot. Assuming Melbourne accounts for Gold Coast at the MCG on Sunday, they will have 12 wins for the season and will need two more wins from the final three rounds to secure a long-awaited finals berth. The bad news is those games are against Sydney, West Coast and the Giants. The good news is their percentage is so good they might have to win only one of those, and the Swans are on the skids. Clear the September diaries.

Jed Anderson copped a head knock in the win over West Coast. Picture: Getty
Jed Anderson copped a head knock in the win over West Coast. Picture: Getty

NORTH MELBOURNE

INJURIES

Jed Anderson (concussion) test

Jarrad Waite (calf) test

Alex Morgan (calf) TBC

Declan Watson (knee) 1 week

Billy Hartung (hamstring) 1-2 weeks

Taylor Garner (hamstring) 1-2 weeks

Cam Zurhaar (ankle) 6-7 weeks

Ben Jacobs (concussion/neck) indefinite

Ed Vickers-Willis (knee) season

Sam Durdin (broken leg) season

ON THE BLOCK: Jed Anderson spent time off Blundstone Arena but returned and Trent Dumont played out the game with a bruised shin. Not many other problems for the Kangaroos - when they guy leading the Coleman Medal is your worst player (Ben Brown had just three kicks) you're going all right. First-gamer Will Walker showed some promising signs.

ON THE CUSP: North Melbourne's VFL side went down to Collingwood by eight points on Sunday. Luke Davies-Uniacke was again named in the best while Tom Murphy, Nick Larkey and Ben McKay were part of the initial 25-man squad for the Eagles game. But the big inclusion against the Lions could be Jarrad Waite, who hasn't played since Round 10 due to a calf injury. Coach Brad Scott indicated he's a chance to return against Brisbane.

AL PATON'S FORECAST: If Waite returns Nathan Hrovat might be the player to make way. Beating West Coast has opened the door for an unlikely finals appearance with four very winnable games to finish the season. The biggest challenges are interstate trips to face the Lions this week and Adelaide in Round 22. Hawthorn and Sydney fans should be nervous.

PORT ADELAIDE

INJURIES

Jack Hombsch (knee) test

Dougal Howard (hand) 1 week

Todd Marshall (ankle) 1 week

Karl Amon (knee) 2 weeks

Matthew Broadbent (foot) season

Willem Drew (heel) season

Joel Garner (shoulder) season

Hamish Hartlett (knee) season

Sam Hayes (knee) season

ON THE BLOCK: Hard to change a team that won tough against the Bulldogs in Ballarat. Kane Farrell kicked a goal on debut after a quiet start and the internal plaudits are so big on the kid that the forward/midfielder should get another start in Showdown 45. Reliable Jack Hombsch pulled up sore with a strapped knee and will be monitored during the week.

ON THE CUSP: Port Adelaide Magpies lost by 71 points in the SANFL but Jack Trengove picked up 31 touches to remain Ken Hinkley's preferred reinforcement if required. Lindsay Thomas reacted to his demotion with two goals for the Magpies and is the kind of player made for Showdowns. First choice defender Dougal Howard must prove he has recovered from the hand injury that sidelined him from the trip to Ballarat. Karl Amon is not expected to play for another two weeks with a medial ligament strain.

RICHARD EARLE'S FORECAST: Port Adelaide enters Showdown 45 at virtual full strength and with its structure back in place. Paddy Ryder's return allowed Charlie Dixon to remain in attack and kick 5.2 against the Western Bulldogs. There is no single player more important to a side than Ryder. Port can cement a top-four spot and end Adelaide's season despite confronting a Crows home crowd. Defender Tom Doedee's return will be crucial for Adelaide but Port pushed rampaging GWS without Ryder and appears to have too many options to outpoint the Crows. Steve Motlop and Chad Wingard are hitting their stride to complement Dixon and Robbie Gray. Port is the best clearance side in the business with Ollie Wines, Sam Powell-Pepper and Brad Ebert in form and Jared Polec in career-best throttle. Tom Jonas will be better for the run and renews his battle with Eddie Betts in a defence that has held up all year.

RICHMOND

INJURIES

Bachar Houli (groin) test

Dan Butler (ankle) 1-2 weeks

Mabior Chol (foot) 2-3 weeks

Reece Conca (ankle) 3-4 weeks

Jack Graham (shoulder) 1-2 weeks

Oleg Markov (knee) TBA

ON THE BLOCK: Does Dimma go tinkering with the team he's got humming along so beautifully? His superstars didn't even need to perform at their best to put the Pies away on Saturday, and new addition Liam Baker more than held his own as he battled nerves in his debut on the near-biggest of stages. He'd be the only one to fall out - if Dan Butler returns - you'd think, with another huge contest awaiting on Friday night.

ON THE CUSP: It's hard to break into a side like this one. Bachar Houli remains listed as "questionable" on the Tigers' injury list after hopes he could play against Greater Western Sydney a fortnight ago. The VFL outfit enjoyed a big win over Werribee, with Callum Moore booting five goals to be named among the best. Anthony Miles also delivered an impressive showing, while Nathan Drummond (knee) is also available for selection.

LAUREN WOOD'S FORECAST: One added bonus of being the reigning premier is attracting blockbusters, and this week is no different as the Tigers prepare to host Geelong at the MCG. This will be huge, with the Cats on the march after two straight wins and hunting their place in September. Geelong has fallen short in its last two meetings with Richmond, in Round 13 this year and that qualifying final last year. The Tigers cemented their premiership contender credentials - as if they hadn't already - by putting the afterburners on against the Pies on Saturday and if it's close at three-quarter time, which it likely will be, expect them to do exactly the same thing again. They're streets ahead of the competition.

ST KILDA

INJURIES

Logan Austin (groin) test

Jimmy Webster (groin) test

Nathan Wright (knee) test

Paddy McCartin (foot) indefinite

Josh Bruce (leg) season

Dylan Roberton (heart) season

ON THE BLOCK: Mav Weller has struggled to make an impact this season and that didn't change against the Giants, registering just nine disposals, although his forward pressure could save him. Josh Battle, Sam Gilbert and Rowan Marshall might all come under pressure to keep their spots.

ON THE CUSP: Is this the week we finally see Nathan Freeman? The No.10 pick in the 2013 draft has been cursed by hamstring injuries but has strung a series of games together for Sandringham and had 37 disposals and a goal on Saturday. Alan Richardson has tried to hose down talk of a long-awaited debut but with four games to play what have the Saints got to lose? Hunter Clark was managed and will be available while Bailey Rice and Ed Phillips remain on the fringe.

AL PATON'S FORECAST: Possibly the most frustrating game of the season for suffering Saints fans, which is saying a lot. At one stage in the second term more than 70 per cent of the game had been played in St Kilda's forward line yet they trailed on the scoreboard. So that says they are doing some things right - and some very wrong. How does Richo fix it ready to launch into pre-season? A win against the Bulldogs next Saturday night - which is very doable - would be a good start.

Lance Franklin is playing hurt and the Swans are struggling big time.
Lance Franklin is playing hurt and the Swans are struggling big time.

SYDNEY

INJURIES

Kieren Jack (knee) test

Jarrad McVeigh (collarbone) test

Dan Hannebery (calf) 1-2 weeks

James Rose (shoulder) 1-2 weeks

Sam Reid (achilles) 3 weeks

Gary Rohan (hand) 2 weeks

Lewis Melican (hamstring) 5 weeks

Sam Naismith (knee) season

Callum Mills (foot) season

Matthew Ling (toe) season

ON THE BLOCK: Zak Jones will miss Saturday night's clash against Collingwood after his two-week ban for a high bump on Essendon's Kyle Langford. First-year player Tom McCartin looks like he needs a rest after doing the heavy lifting lining up at centre half forward for much of the last three months.

ON THE CUSP: The injury-hit and struggling Swans are set to get some relief ahead of their critical clash with Collingwood at the SCG on Saturday night. Kieren Jack is close to a return from the knee injury which has sidelined him for the last three matches. Jarrad McVeigh is also a chance of playing his first game since breaking his collarbone in the same match (v Geelong in Round 16) that Jack and Dan Hannebery were injured in.

NEIL CORDY'S FORECAST: With Lance Franklin playing hurt, a long injury list and the Swans youngsters running out of gas, Sydney faces a huge task maintaining its eight-year run of playing finals. Former co-captains Kieren Jack and Jarrad McVeigh would be handy inclusions against the Magpies, but will they stop the rot?

WEST COAST

INJURIES

Josh Kennedy (soreness) test

Luke Shuey (personal) TBC

Brayden Ainsworth (concussion) test

Callan England (quad) test

Lewis Jetta (leg) test

Malcolm Karpany (rib) 1 week

Eric Mackenzie (toe) season

Nic Naitanui (knee) season

ON THE BLOCK: Jack Petruccelle, who replaced Luke Shuey, had just five disposals, the second-fewest for the Eagles behind back-up ruck Nathan Vardy. Daniel Venables was also quiet with eight touches, while the forward line of Mark LeCras, Jack Darling and Jake Waterman managed just 25 possessions and kicked 1.2 between them in a tough day.

ON THE CUSP: Shuey should be available after missing the match for personal reasons, while coach Adam Simpson also flagged the possible return of speedster Lewis Jetta, who picked up a minor leg injury a fortnight ago. Simpson was not as bullish on his spearhead Josh Kennedy, who did not come up from soreness following his return from injury.

ADAM SMITH'S FORECAST: West Coast remained in second spot despite the heavy defeat to North Melbourne, but could have moved eight points clear of Collingwood - and gone a long way to locking away two home finals - with a victory. A blockbuster derby with Fremantle awaits this week and after being obliterated in the midfield against the Roos, the return of Shuey will be a huge inclusion. The Eagles will be desperate to bounce back against their archrivals, with tough assignments against Port Adelaide (away) and Melbourne (home) to follow.

WESTERN BULLDOGS

INJURIES

Tom Boyd (back) test

Tory Dickson (hamstring) test

Billy Gowers (ankle) test

Lin Jong (collarbone) test

Tom Campbell (foot) 1 week

Matt Suckling (achilles) 2-4 weeks

Bailey Williams (foot) 1-2 weeks

Easton Wood (hamstring) 2-3 weeks

Jack Redpath (knee) indefinite

Tom Liberatore (knee) season

Liam Picken (concussion) season

Lukas Webb (neck) season

Luke Dahlhaus (ankle) season

Bailey Dale (foot) season

ON THE BLOCK: No major injury concerns from the game in Ballarat. Jordan Roughead had a cut to his head but played on and there was maybe just some frostbite given the Arctic conditions. The Dogs are already suffering big time with a huge injury list. They'll probably have to stick with the 22.

ON THE CUSP: As Luke Beveridge said on Sunday night, it's a matter of who the Dogs have left. Tory Dickson (hamstring) and Lin Jong (collarbone) would be positive inclusions against the Saints, but they've missed a lot of footy and Beveridge sounded reluctant to play them. Billy Gowers (ankle) is also touch and go while Tom Boyd has a lower back issue and isn't expected to come up. Roarke Smith copped a knock to his knee and a gash to his head after he and Kieran Collins were involved in a car crash last week. Collins was physically OK, but shaken up by the incident.

ELIZA SEWELL'S FORECAST: The Bulldogs can't string four quarters of footy together and you get the feeling Round 22 against Carlton can't come soon enough. But surely the Saints are gettable this weekend? It'll depend on whether the Bulldogs get anyone back, because they need a few more soldiers. Jason Johannisen was tagged by Darcy Byrne-Jones on Sunday, but even with that knowledge, he had a shocker. Beveridge predicted he'd have a really good game this week. Acid. On.



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