The Giants are weighing up whether to name their prized No. 1 draft pick after a bag of goals at VFL level.
Plus Geelong will have two fresh faces against the Blues, who are sweating on a star’s fitness.
Get all the latest Round 2 selection news and updates in AFL Team Whispers!
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Cats ready to time their run again | 01:57
GEELONG has confirmed prized recruit Jack Bowes will play his first game in the hoops on Thursday night, while a 2021 draftee will also be unleashed against Carlton.
Cats coach Chris Scott on Wednesday confirmed Bowes and Cooper Whyte would play against the Blues.
After fellow recruits Tanner Bruhn and Ollie Henry made their club debuts against Collingwood last week, ex-Sun Bowes will be named in Geelong’s side on Wednesday night.
Bowes, who played 83 games in six seasons at the Suns, was central to the salary dump trade last year that saw the Suns receive a future third-round pick from Geelong, which acquired Bowes and Pick 7, which it used to draft young gun midfielder Jhye Clark.
“We brought him in thinking his best spot would be as an inside midfielder … I think he will be in there a little bit but he will be in other spots as well,” Scott told reporters on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Whyte will slot into the Cats’ backline, which will be without four-time All-Australian defender Tom Stewart on Thursday night due to a knee injury.
A rebounding defender with a lovely left-foot kick, Whyte barely played any footy last year due to a groin injury. But the Grovedale junior impressed against both Hawthorn in match simulation then against Brisbane in Geelong’s official practice match following a strong summer on the track.
“From that moment (against the Lions) we were confident that if a spot came up he could play a role,” Scott said.
Scott confirmed champion forward Tom Hawkins and premiership defender Sam De Koning had both been passed fit to play.
CARLTON could be without gun midfielder George Hewett for its big clash against Geelong on Thursday night.
Blues coach Michael Voss said Hewett would be tested later on Wednesday after his hand was stood on against Richmond.
“We’ve got to assess him later,” Blues coach Michael Voss said on Wednesday.
“He did pull up sore. We just haven’t necessarily tested that out. We’ll test that out later today, so we won’t really know until a little bit later today.”
Voss said ruckman Marc Pittonet was “ready to go” if required to support Tom De Koning against Geelong on Thursday night.
“I think where the dialogue has been lost with Pitto is we’ve sort of forgotten that he just wasn’t ready,” Voss said.
“Maybe that was a little bit clouded by the fact he played the week before, but we had no other game to play so we felt like we needed to get a game under his belt, at least a half.
“He’s got another game under his belt, he’s certainly stated a case, that’s for sure. We feel like he’s well and truly closer to being able to come back into the AFL team.”
The Blues could be boosted by the return of small forward Corey Durdin, who missed Round 1 with a hamstring injury.
A look into Kingsley BTS | 03:28
The GIANTS are strongly considering naming No. 1 pick Aaron Cadman for his AFL debut match against West Coast this weekend.
Adam Kingsley will have to make at least three forced changes to the side that pulled off a courageous win against Adelaide, with Harry Perryman (hamstring), Lachie Whitfield (concussion) and Josh Kelly (concussion) to be sidelined.
Cadman, who was taken by the Giants with the first selection of last year’s draft and has been compared to Geelong superstar Jeremy Cameron, starred in a Giants VFL practice match last weekend, booting six goals against Sydney.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, coach Kingsley said Cadman would be considered at match committee, but whether he played would come down to team balance and structure. Kingsley also stressed the club was “in no rush to play him”.
“Cads had a really strong game in the VFL, so he’s continually putting his hand up, so we’ll have a decision to make at some point, whether that’s this week or beyond, around do we want to see him at AFL level right now?” Kingsley told reporters on Wednesday.
“What’s the mix in the forward line? Do we play four talls? Is three enough? Who makes way if we bring Aaron in? All these sorts of decision-making is attached to Aaron and we’re working our way through that.
“He’s here for a career, not the first month of the season. We’ve been really pleased with his performance over summer and he played really well on the weekend, but if he doesn’t get in this weekend, he’ll keep plugging away, he’s a real competitor and he’ll keep trying to improve.”
Kingsley pointed to fellow first-round draftee Harry Rowston, as well as Cooper Hamilton, as possible inclusions after strong midfield performances against the Swans’ VFL team, while Ryan Angwin “also played well on a wing”.
Leek Aleer, who was a late withdrawal last week, will remain sidelined with a quad injury, but Jacob Wehr will be fine to face the Eagles despite copping a heavy hit from Crow Shane McAdam, who was hit with a three-week ban.
WEST COAST will again be without star ruck Nic Naitanui, but remains confident four-time All-Australian Jeremy McGovern will face the Giants this weekend despite sending a scare through the camp this week.
McGovern, who had 22 disposals, 12 intercepts and 10 marks against North Melbourne, pulled out of a drill early in Tuesday and was seen stretching his hamstring. He then headed into the club’s rooms following a discussion with coach Adam Simpson.
But the Eagles later confirmed McGovern was just being managed at the start of the week.
“Jeremy, like a number of our veteran players have lighter starts to the week recovering from the game,” Eagles head of health Mark Finucane said.
“He’ll fully train later in the week so it was just load management earlier in the week for Jeremy.”
While Naitanui will miss again with an Achilles injury, fellow veteran Elliot Yeo remains unlikely to return after training away from the main group on Tuesday.
Admin at the Bombers a ticking time bomb | 00:57
ESSENDON forward Jake Stringer has been declared fit to play this weekend after overcoming a hamstring injury.
But whether Stringer returns to face the Suns in the AFL or VFL remains undecided.
“Jake’s progressed through all his training, he’s ticked off all he needs to do,” Essendon high performance Daniel McPherson said.
“From a high-performance perspective, he’s good to go and will be available for selection this weekend.”
However the emotion-charged comeback of cult hero Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti may be short lived after he suffered a quad issue in the opening round of the season.
Playing his first game since Round 20 of the 2021 season, having retired last year before being drawn back to the Bombers, McDonald-Tipungwuti kicked a goal after coming on as a substitute in his team’s thrashing of Hawthorn.
But he pulled up with quad soreness and may not be available to tackle the Gold Coast Suns in Round 2.
“We’ll monitor his progress over the next couple of days and we’ll have more info later in the week to make a call,” McPherson said.
Fellow forward Sam Weideman also has a toe issue and will be monitored.
“He kicked the ground and pulled up with a bit of a sore toe, but we’re hopeful he’ll be right for Sunday,” McPherson said.
“He’ll be on a modified program during the week and hopefully by Friday, he’ll be back up and running.”
GOLD COAST is set to regain running defender Lachie Weller to face the Bombers, while it could also unleash its top 2022 draftee.
Weller hasn’t played a match since Round 12 last year when he ruptured his ACL against North Melbourne.
But the senior Suns player could return this weekend after being cleared to play.
“Lachie has been training fully for a month now and has exceeded every challenge set for him throughout his rehabilitation and reconditioning following his injury,” head Suns physiotherapist Lindsay Bull said.
“Lachie has put in a tremendous amount of hard work and had his sights firmly set on a return to play early in the season.”
Explosive forward-midfielder Bailey Humphrey, who the Suns took with Pick 7 last year, is available for selection this weekend after being sidelined with a foot injury in recent weeks.
Wil Powell (hamstring), who reintegrated back into main training this week, is a test, while vice-captain Sam Collins will be available this week after being cleared following Lance Franklin’s bump last weekend.
Danger signs for Hawks after drubbing | 01:51
HAWTHORN coach Sam Mitchell says the Hawks will take a cautious approach with injured forward Chad Wingard after he suffered a minor calf injury that’s set to sideline him for “one or possibly two” weeks.
Wingard on Wednesday was unsighted on the track for the first part of training before coming out to join the rehab group, with Mitchell saying scans were positive for the injury-prone forward.
Mitchell said the club is happy to be cautious with the dynamic playmaker, who managed just 10 games last year, in order to see him at his best – like his stunning goal in the first term against the Bombers in round one.
Emerging youngster Will Day also trained away from the main group doing run-throughs but is expected to face the Swans, while Harry Morrison is available after recovering from a hamstring injury.
“The scans are actually quite positive, it’s not a long time out but with his injury history we thought he probably couldn’t get up for this week anyway but we will be quite conservative with him because of his history,” Mitchell said of Wingard.
“He’s had a fantastic pre-season, and he will be out for one, possibly two weeks … but I don’t think it’s going to be a long-term one for him which is pleasing because he has had some soft tissue injuries that have been six to 10 weeks.”
The Hawks are yet to decide on their team but Mitchell said there are several youngsters waiting in the wings for an opportunity after some eye-catching performances in their VFL practice match against Essendon.
Developing ruckman Max Ramsden kicked four goals in a standout display in their VFL practice match win over Essendon, while draftees Josh Weddle (23 disposals, five tackles) and Henry Hustwaite (21 disposals, seven clearances) and trade recruit Cooper Stephens (24 disposals, five tackles) were also impressive.
“Some of those boys really strong performances so there is a few guys standing at the door hoping it cracks open for them,” he said.
SYDNEY will be without superstar Lance Franklin for its clash with Sydney due to suspension.
Port gear up for another huge test | 01:42
PORT ADELAIDE veteran Travis Boak took a big step towards making his season debut in a massive Round 2 clash with Collingwood after putting his fractured rib to the test at training on Tuesday.
Boak, set for his 17th AFL season, missed the club’s stirring opening round win at home over the Brisbane Lions after suffering the rib injury in a pre-season clash with West Coast.
As Port prepares to take that winning momentum to the MCG and tackle a Magpie outfit that AFL legend Gerard Healy said deserved to be at least equal premiership favourites after their opening round take-down of Geelong, Boak’s injection could come at the perfect time.
“He is probably saying he‘s feeling ready to go,” Port defender Kane Farrell said of Boak.
“It‘s really up to the staff to know.
“He‘s training but not trying to go as hard at the moment as a precaution, but I think he’ll be fine to train on Thursday.
“He just a great player, a great leader … you always stand a little taller when you have got someone like that alongside you, so it would be great to get him back out there as soon as we can.”
COLLINGWOOD is set to name key defender Billy Frampton to face old side Port Adelaide this weekend, with vice-captain Jeremy Howe facing a lengthy stint on the sidelines after his horror arm injury.
In-depth look into the ‘Pies swarm’ | 03:47
BRISBANE should be boosted by the return of former captain Dayne Zorko for Friday night’s clash against Melbourne.
Lions co-captain Harris Andrews was hopeful that Zorko would be available for selection after missing the trip to Adelaide because of a hamstring injury.
“He’s been tracking really well. It’d be awesome to get him back at some point,” Andrews said of veteran Zorko.
“He brings such energy to the club. His ability to put pressure on the field and bring that hunger to the contest (that) we probably missed on the weekend would be great.”
Defenders Cal Ah Chee and Darcy Gardiner could also be declared available later in the week, but Ah Chee appears more likely to be cleared to play.
Emerging star Keidean Coleman, though, will miss Brisbane’s clash with Melbourne through concussion protocols.
MELBOURNE coach Simon Goodwin says premiership quartet Steven May, Jack Viney, Bayley Fritsch and Christian Salem are all set to be available for selection ahead of Friday night’s clash against Brisbane at the Gabba.
“It’s great for us, they’ve had a couple of weeks of training and they’re ready to go. May had that little calf … Viney has really started to increase his loads in the last few weeks,” he said.
“We’re confident all those guys will be available to play and it will be a pretty strong selection headache.”
A decision had not been made on whether Salem would play in the AFL or VFL after overcoming a pre-season thyroid issue.
“He’s certainly put in a lot of work over the last three or four weeks and we want to set him up for success,” Goodwin said.
“He’s had an enormous pre-season up until his thyroid, he’s clearly had a lot of downtime over that period, but he’s done a lot of work to get himself back in this position.”
The Demons will be without star forward Kysaiah Pickett due to suspension.
‘The bump is dead’ – Goodwin | 02:42
ST KILDA duo Marcus Windhager (broken hand) and Seb Ross (calf) are expected to be available to take on the Bulldogs on Saturday night, but Jimmy Webster (broken hand) and Jack Bytel (cut knee) will be sidelined.
The leg wound is an unlucky setback for Bytel, who impressed with 16 disposals, seven tackles and a goal against the Dockers.
Acting football boss David Misson said the Saints were hopeful Webster could return for Round 3, while he explained why Bytel would miss.
“Jack suffered a cut to his knee early in the game which was attended to and he returned to the field,” he said.
“However, his discomfort continued post-match and Jack was admitted to hospital later that evening.
“Jack then underwent a clean-out of the wound, resulting in disruption to his preparation this week.”
At least one of the former midfield pair will return in Bytel’s place, while substitute Ben Paton is likely to replace Webster in the starting 22.
WESTERN BULLDOGS defender Liam Jones left the MCG in a neck brace and in an ambulance on Saturday night, but could yet play against St Kilda this weekend.
Jones was sent to hospital for scans during the loss to Melbourne after an incident in the second quarter. He was put in a neck brace and stretchered into an ambulance as a matter of precaution, but the scans revealed no issue and he could yet line-up against the Saints.
“Liam Jones suffered a heavy impact to his head that caused his neck to overstretch,” Bulldogs’ head of sports medicine Chris Bell said
“Immediately following, he had some referred pain and spasm into his shoulder. With any injury of this nature, we need to make sure that we clear any serious structural damage – so Liam was sent to hospital for scans.”
“Those scans came back with positive results.”
“As expected Liam still has some pain and muscle spasm associated with the injury, so we are working overtime to get him back on track and will determine his availability as the week progresses.”
But Jones’ teammate Rory Lobb will miss the clash with St Kilda after minor surgery on his ankle on Monday, following an underwhelming debut for his club.
Lobb, who crossed from Fremantle to be part of the ultra-tall Bulldogs forward line, had arthroscopy and won’t be out for “too long”.
“Rory Lobb has developed some catching pain in his ankle, relating to some small loose bodies in the joint that have intermittently caused him issues in the last few years,” Bell said.
“To minimise risk of him having recurrent issues, we have decided to be proactive and wash the loose bodies out with an ankle arthroscopy this afternoon.”
“We will determine Rory’s return to play plan following the procedure, but don’t expect it to keep him out for too long.”
Robbo shoots on ‘boring’ Fremantle | 00:53
NORTH MELBOURNE will have to re-call veteran ruckman Todd Goldstein, who was overlooked for the opening round, for Saturday night’s clash against Fremantle after Tristan Xerri was sent for surgery to repair a right ankle syndesmosis injury suffered in his team’s win over West Coast.
“This is disappointing news for Tristan after an outstanding pre-season. Everyone at the club was looking forward to seeing him evolve as a ruckman and build on his game,” North Melbourne general manager of football Todd Viney said.
“Once surgery is completed tomorrow, the club will have more clarity around Tristan’s rehab plan.”
FREMANTLE is weighing up whether to name Michael Walters for the match against North Melbourne or give him one more game in the WAFL.
Walters, who’s been sidelined with an Achilles injury, on Saturday played managed minutes for the club’s affiliate Peel Thunder in a scratch match against Subiaco and got through unscathed.
“We’ll have to have a discussion (Wednesday) about ‘Sonny’,” Dockers coach Justin Longmuir told 7 News Perth.
“He made a good return in the WAFL but played limited minutes so we’ll discuss tomorrow about his build, whether that’s AFL this week or he needs more minutes (in the WAFL).”
Nathan O’Driscoll, who has been hampered by a foot issue in recent weeks, played in the same WAFL scratch match and played a full game.
“Nathan ran out the game really strongly. He’s a really good runner so I’m sure he’ll want to press his claims at training,” Dockers football boss Peter Bell said.
McAdam sent straight to the tribunal | 00:21
RICHMOND forward Noah Cumberland — a surprise omission from the Tigers’ Round 1 team — might have to bide his time at VFL level as the Tigers prepare to face Adelaide.
Rhyan Mansell had a quiet game against Carlton and could lose his spot, but it’s unlikely he’ll be replaced by Cumberland, who plays a similar structural role to superstar Dustin Martin, according to coach Damien Hardwick.
Jack Ross, who was the sub against Carlton, could come in for Mansell.
ADELAIDE will need to replace versatile forward Shane McAdam due to suspension.
Ned McHenry and Lachlan Murphy both had strong outings in a SANFL trial game, but the Crows could go tall to stretch Richmond’s defence and name Riley Thilthorpe, who booted four goals and took several contested marks.