Barometer: When will injury-plagued Saint return?
MELBOURNE defender Jake Lever has sent a scare through the Demons camp after suffering an ankle injury while playing for Casey. Will it delay his AFL return from a knee reconstruction?
Lever sat out the second half of Casey Demons' clash against Williamstown with ice on his right ankle on Sunday.
He came from the ground just before half time and took no further part in the game.
"It's pretty sore now to be honest but that was more just precaution," Lever said.
"I went to run back out there and I was no good."
Lever was in his second game back from a knee reconstruction and remains intent on playing against his former club in Darwin on Saturday night.
He said the ankle would not impact his ability to put his hand up for his first AFL game in nearly 12 months.
Sunday marks one year to the day when he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.
"I'm ready to play AFL footy," he said.
"I thought I was ready last week, it was more just getting another game in and unfortunately only played a half today.
"As much as it is about playing, I think I've been able to train at a really high level over the last four, five weeks.
"It's given me a lot of confidence so if I were to have to play next week, I'd be confident."
Casey was down two rotations in the second half, with Corey Maynard coping a knock to his head.
Veteran Jordan Lewis also made a rare state league appearance in the 11.11 (77) to 9.7 (61) result.
Lewis was one of four Melbourne-listed players back from injury, with Sam Weideman, Jay Kennedy-Harris and Mitch Hannan making welcome returns.
In breezy conditions at Downer Oval, Lewis' class and precise disposal was a standout.
He found plenty of the ball on the wings and collected 11 disposals in the first quarter before finishing with 23.
Weideman kicked the first two goals of the game and finished with 3.2 from eight kicks, also taking six marks.
Kennedy-Harris was busy for Casey and finished as the Demons' leading disposal winner with 26 touches.
Hannan kicked 1.1 and had 11 disposals.
Williamstown kicked 11 of 12 goals after quarter-time to win by 16 points.
- Toby Prime
Expect changes at Adelaide this week. They've lost two in a row and have Bryce Gibbs and Josh Jenkins in the stands along with first-round draft pick Darcy Fogarty who hasn't got a senior game this year.
The Crows travel to Darwin to play Melbourne on Saturday and expect Jenkins to come in for Elliott Himmelberg.
Himmelberg has kicked one goal in the past two weeks and struggled against Brisbane and West Coast.
The difficulty for Don Pyke is Jenkins, Gibbs, Fogarty and Co didn't play on the weekend given the SANFL's split round.
Expect Sam Jacobs to come back via the SANFL this weekend after missing over a month with knee surgery and that will also put selection pressure on Reilly O'Brien who is holding his own but he allowed Nathan Vardy to get on top of him in the second half on Saturday night.
The big inclusions could be Matt Crouch who has missed the past two games with a corked hip, Tom Lynch who hurt his hamstring during the week and David Mackay who was a late withdrawal through illness.
"We're hopeful (Lynch returns next week), he was able to do some running this morning so we'll see how he comes up during the week," Pyke said.
"(Mackay) had a virus during the week then came out and trained on Thursday then went backwards again, and the doctor's advice was not to push that on, he had to get some blood tests and I don't know exactly what they've concluded he's got but he clearly wasn't well enough to play."
Matt Crouch (hip) test
Tom Doedee (knee) season
Sam Jacobs (knee) test
Tom Lynch (hamstring) test
David Mackay (illness) test
Brisbane has a long trip across the country on Monday to lick their wounds. It is their second week in a row a match has been decided by a point and although winning one of the two is not a bad result, they would prefer to be able to shut things down late in games when they are hanging onto a narrow lead.
Against Fremantle it was the contested footy that fell apart.
Reinforcements are at hand that will help in that area with Rhys Mathieson back from suspension. Even though the NEAFL side is in superb touch and the injury list is pretty small, Chris Fagan would be unlikely to make too many changes.
Marcus Adams (knee) 2 weeks
Zac Bailey (hamstring) 2 weeks
Mitch McGovern faces a light week on the track after rolling his ankle in the fourth term. It has been a quiet day for the key forward until then. But he wasn't on his own. There were problems with the Blues' forward cohesion all day. Brendon Bolton said sloppy skills and a lack of movement forward of the ball were both issues in the 13-points loss to St Kilda. Jack Silvagni has seven possessions and may also come under selection pressure for Sunday's clash against Essendon at the MCG.
Tom De Koning (knee) 1-2 weeks
Sam Docherty (knee) indefinite
Liam Jones (concussion) 1 week
Marc Murphy (fractured ribs) 1-2 weeks
Jarrod Pickett (knee) indefinite
Tom Williamson (back) test
Collingwood midfielder Daniel Wells can't catch a break.
Getting his first taste of senior AFL action since Round 12 last year, the silky skilled midfielder was on fire, kicking three goals against the Swans in a dynamic first half.
However, the good times didn't last, with Wells then suffering a left knee injury early in the third term.
Wells was crunched in a tackle from Sydney's Jackson Thurlow and was immediately helped from the ground.
He spent time on the sidelines before being taken down to the rooms by the Collingwood medical staff.
Wells joined Collingwood at the end of the 2016 season and has played just 14 games in that time.
Going into Friday night's clash, the Magpies had an 11-1-3 record in games Wells had lined up in.
Taylor Adams (groin) test
Flynn Appleby (ankle) 1 week
Tyler Brown (shoulder) test
Mason Cox (ankle) test
Lynden Dunn (knee) season
Jamie Elliott (hamstring) 1-2 weeks
Tom Langdon (knee) TBC
Nathan Murphy (ankle) 1 week
Sam Murray (suspension) TBC
Matt Scharenberg (knee) 3 weeks
Daniel Wells (knee) TBC
Essendon coach John Worsfold won't adjust his expectations for any of his players despite an injury toll mounting by the match.
The Bombers look set to be without goalkicker Jake Stringer and key midfielder Dylan Shiel for at least next week's clash with Carlton after both picked up hamstring injuries in the 23-point loss to Richmond.
Stringer is Essendon's equal leading goalkicker this season and with Joe Daniher done for the season avenues to goal for the Bombers are hard to find.
Worsfold, who conceded his team who failed to meet the Tigers intensity levels early before a final quarter comeback, said he hadn't thought too deeply about the adjustments he may have to make for Bombers to kick a winning score next week.
But he remained adamant he wouldn't move from the path the team is on as his team slumped to a 4-6 record.
"You have to take some things in to account in terms of the way you play," Worsfold said.
"Our expectation is whoever is in this team is preparing to play they best footy they can play and we don't lower our standards in any way shape or form on where we want to go to.
"I'm really confident that's what we are going to see."
Worsfold also dismissed any criticism of the Bombers handling of injured players, after suggestions Daniher's groin injury was mishandled, and the injuries to Stringer and Shiel.
Jake Stringer (hamstring) TBC
Dylan Shiel (hamstring) TBC
Sam Draper (knee) season
Orazio Fantasia (quad) 1-2 weeks
Kobe Mutch (hamstring) 4-6 weeks
Devon Smith (knee) season
James Stewart (groin) test
Geelong sit a game clear on top of the ladder and the news gets better for Cats fans with superstar Patrick Dangerfield (ankle) a chance to return from injury.
Coach Chris Scott opted not to risk the Brownlow Medallist for the trip up north but he should be in the frame for their match-up with the Swans.
However, they may be without another superstar in Gary Ablett, who was reported for the third straight week - this time for a glancing blow off the ball to Sun Anthony Miles.
The incident will come under scrutiny from the Match Review Officer, putting the ageing gun in doubt.
Hard nut Tom Atkins made a flawless return from a hip injury, tallying 15 disposals and 11 tackles, while Rhys Stanley (adductor) also got through the game unscathed.
Defender Lachie Henderson is a chance to play this week but may be forced to come through the VFL.
Luckless youngster Charlie Constable suffered a leg injury after being demoted to the twos, while Quinton Narkle finished on ice in his return game from a hamstring, with both failing to feature after halftime. The Cats are confident the injuries aren't serious.
Patrick Dangerfield (ankle) Test
Charlie Constable (leg) Test
Quinton Narke (hamstring) Test
Lachie Henderson (plantar fascia) Test
Ben Jarvis (calf) Test
Stefan Okumbor (groin) Test
Sam Menegola (knee) 2-3 weeks
Nakia Cockatoo (knee) Indefinite
Doubt surrounds the immediate fitness of Ben Ainsworth after the Suns forward was forced from the field with an ankle injury in the second quarter of Gold Coast's loss to Geelong.
He came back on but left again late in the third and didn't return.
Coach Stuart Dew said post-game it was unclear if Touk Miller would overcome his heel problem in time to play against GWS on Saturday and it seems unlikely anyone else will return from injury.
With no like-for-like small forward available, Dew may opt to go with a midfielder such as George Horlin-Smith or Will Brodie and push someone like Jack Martin into the forward line.
Pearce Hanley (quad) test
Sean Lemmens (ankle) 6 weeks
Touk Miller (foot) test
Izak Rankine (hamstring) 1-2 weeks
Brad Scheer (hand) 2-4 weeks
Rory Thompson (knee) season
Harrison Wigg (knee) season
Aaron Young (knee) 2 weeks
A convincing win at Launceston was soured by a knee injury to emerging defender Jack Scrimshaw. The Hawthorn recruit went down to the rooms in the third quarter and didn't return to the field, putting him doubt for their clash with Brisbane next week.
Young tall Mitch Lewis was a late withdrawal after failing to recover from his concussion against the Tigers and will be a chance to return.
Replacement Marc Pittonet was serviceable with 8 touches and 29 hit-outs supporting Johnathon Ceglar in the ruck, but the Hawks will likely opt for a versatile forward/ruck option to assist him with Ben McEvoy expected to miss at least another three games.
Jarryd Roughead certainly fits that mould and was named in the best in Box Hill's 14-point loss against Collingwood, tallying 22 disposals and booting a goal. Clarkson could decide to recall the Hawks veteran, who hasn't played in the senior side since Round 7.
Defender Kaiden Brand could replace Scrimshaw after a dominant display, collecting 29 touches and 18 marks., while lively forward Jack Ross booted four goals.
Mitch Lewis (concussion) Test
Jack Scrimshaw (knee) Test
Ben McEvoy (ankle) 3-5 weeks
Darren Minchington (hamstring) 2 weeks
Isaac Smith (foot) Test
Ryan Schoenmakers (calf) Test
Tom Mitchell (broken leg) Indefinite
Grant Birchall (calf/knee) Indefinite
Tim Mohr (dislocated knee/ACL) Season
Few bumps and bruises but nothing of consequence for the Dees. Tom McDonald copped a knock late and will be sore but OK to take on Adelaide this week, while Harrison Petty will get a scan on his knee after experiencing soreness.
Melbourne's best Max Gawn dislocated his finger but played out the game.
A host of big names on the cusp of selection, including late withdrawal Christian Salem (concussion) and Alex Neal-Bullen (concussion). Key defender Jake Lever wrenched his
ankle in his second VFL game back from a knee reconstruction while Steven May appears to be 1-2 weeks away.
Young Dees Oskar Baker and Marty Hore have done enough to hold their spots despite Michael Hibberd also knocking on the selection door.
If Melbourne's season isn't already shot then it will be unless it beats Adelaide in Darwin on Saturday night.
Michael Hibberd (collarbone) test
Neville Jetta (knee) 6-8 weeks
Kade Kolodjashnij (concussion) TBC
Jake Lever (ankle) test
Steven May (groin) 1-2 weeks
Jake Melksham (foot) 3 weeks
Alex Neal-Bullen (concussion) test
Aaron Nietschke (knee) season
Christian Salem (concussion) test
Joel Smith (groin) 3-4 weeks
Guy Walker (shoulder) indefinite
Outgoing North Melbourne coach Brad Scott says the club can expect big things in the future from the three indigenous players - Jed Anderson, Tarryn Thomas and Jy Simpkin - who excelled in the 25-point win over Western Bulldogs.
Scott was frustrated that the story surrounding his departure from the Kangaroos had "hijacked" the AFL's indigenous round, but stressed that the trio had played a significant role in the success over the Bulldogs.
"I was disappointed that the Sir Douglas Nicholls round got hijacked to a certain extent, but we were able to bring it back to that before the game," he said.
"I though Jed Anderson, Jy Simpkin and Tarryn Thomas got us going."
Anderson, 25, had 19 disposals - including 11 contested - and was once more among his team's best players. Simpkin was busy for most of the game, while first-year player Thomas shows flashes of brilliance and finished with two goals.
Scott insisted that the club still had a bright and positive future, saying there is "optimism for the future."
"In my time, we have never had multiple first-round selections in the draft, we have had three top ten selections in 10 years and one of them was a father-son (selection) and the other was an Academy player.
"It has been hard through that period to build the sustainable base of talent, but the club is in a better position than it has ever been to do that."
Majak Daw (pelvis/hips) indefinite
Ben Jacobs (head/neck) indefinite
Tom McKenzie (back) TBC
Tom Murphy (ankle) test
Dom Tyson (calf) 1-2 weeks
Ed Vickers-Willis (knee) season
Will Walker (PCL) indefinite
Tom Wilkinson (ankle) 5-7 weeks
Sam Wright (ankle) 2-3 weeks
A hamstring cloud hangs over Port Adelaide's Tom Rockliff as the side prepares to fly to China to face St Kilda on Sunday.
Rockliff left the ground in the third quarter of his side's 31-point loss to Hawthorn and didn't reappear. He will be assessed this week.
Port's trip to Shanghai will be season-defining for the club as it precariously sits on a 5-5 win-loss ledger and outside the top eight on the slimmest of margins (Hawthorn sits above them on 0.8 of a percentage point).
Coach Ken Hinkley said his side needed to turn around its trend for slow starts this season after the Power were held scoreless for a term and a half on Saturday.
Despite his team's loss, Hinkley must have been pleased as he watched veteran Robbie Gray return from a month out following surgery to his broken hand, to collect 27 disposals and be among Port's best.
Co-captain Tom Jonas also returned to the side after a calf strain and will be better for the run.
Ryan Burton (hamstring) 1-2 weeks
Charlie Dixon (leg) 2-3 weeks
Brad Ebert (concussion) 1-2 weeks
Hamish Hartlett (hamstring) test
Sam Hayes (glandular fever) 1-2 weeks
Scott Lycett (abductor) test
Jake Patmore (knee) season
Tom Rockliff (hamstring) test
Jack Watts (leg) TBC
Ollie Wines (ankle) 2-3 weeks
They just keep winning, this mob.
The worrying sign for the rest of the competition is that there's reinforcements on the way.
Damien Hardwick said skipper Trent Cotchin was "pencilled in" to return from a long hamstring layoff against North Melbourne on Friday night, pending a final green light from the Tigers medicos.
Ivan Soldo will be back from suspension to take on Todd Goldstein, while it was only a corkie that prevented Tom Lynch from finishing the game against Essendon.
The spearhead is also expected to be right to face the Kangas.
Trent Cotchin (hamstring) test
Luke English (tonsillitis) indefinite
Tom Lynch (calf) test
Callum Moore (ankle) 6-8 weeks
Toby Nankervis (adductor) 4-6 weeks
Alex Rance (knee) season
Jack Riewoldt (knee) 3-5 weeks
Jack Ross (ankle) 4-6 weeks
Jayden Short (elbow) 3-4 weeks
Finally there is some blue sky for St Kilda on the injury front. Dan Hannebery will pull the boots on in the VFL this weekend after undertaking a rehabilitate program to rebuild his leg strength and fitness. Max King continues to shine for Sandringham and Jarryn Geary is in the mix to take on Port Adelaide in China five weeks after his quad surgery. Jake Carlisle is also tracking towards a comeback from a back problem in the second half of the season. But Luke Dunstan is on report for whacking Michael Gibbons and Ben Long is also booked for his bump on Levi Casboult in the 13-point win over Carlton.
Logan Austin (shoulder) indefinite
Jack Bytel (back) season
Jake Carlisle (back) 3-5 weeks
Jarryd Geary (quad) 1-2 weeks
Dan Hannebery (hamstring/calves) 1-2 weeks
Jack Lonie (knee) 3-5 weeks
Paddy McCartin (concussion) season
Lewis Pierce (concussion) test
Dylan Roberton (heart) season
Sam Rowe (shoulder) test
Jack Steven (mental health) indefinite
Jimmy Webster (hand) 1-2 weeks
The Swans fell short of a third-straight win but what was lost amid Dane Rampe's second SCG brainfade was the potential seriousness of Josh Kennedy's knee injury.
Kennedy sat out the fourth quarter and coach John Longmire indicated after the match the veteran midfielder could be out for a few weeks with a medial issue.
That would certainly rule him out of tough games against Geelong away and West Coast at home before their mid-season bye.
Speaking of this week's game at the Cattery, it would be an emotional return for Dan Menzel who is closing in on a senior debut after his five-goal bag in his second NEAFL game but such an occasion won't sway Sydney's decision making.
Harry Cunningham (adductor) 5-7 weeks
George Hewett (concussion) test
Kieren Jack (hip) test
Zak Jones (hamstring) 2 weeks
Josh Kennedy (knee) TBC
Jack Maibum (knee) season
Jarrad McVeigh (quad) 1-2 weeks
Sam Naismith (knee) TBC
Nick Smith (hamstring) TBC
Durak Tucker (knee) indefinite
The Eagles will be buzzing after an incredible come from behind win and they will return to Perth with no fresh injuries.
They will also welcome back speedster Lewis Jetta, who missed the Crows matchup with suspension. His replacement Jackson Nelson collected just four touches while Tom Cole finished with six, with both set to come under pressure at match selection.
Forward Daniel Venables could enter the fray after missing with concussion last week, although Simpson would be reluctant to make too many changes to a winning side.
Coach Adam Simpson backed Nathan Vardy last week and he responded with 8 touches and 48 hit-outs, with injured Tom Hickey (ankle) a chance to return.
If the Eagles want to outstretch the Bulldogs' weak ruck stocks they could bring in Hickey if fit, or call-up Keegan Brooksby for his first game of the season, the big man tallying 50 hit-outs in the WAFL.
Brendan Ah Chee (19 disposals, 1.2) continued his solid form in the twos, while first year forward Jarrod Cameron hit the scoreboard with four goals.
Tom Hickey (ankle) Test
Daniel Venables (concussion) TBC
Patrick Bines (hernia) TBC
Harry Edwards (foot) TBC
Hamish Brayshaw (toe) 1 week
Francis Watson (shoulder) 1 week
Tom Barrass (foot) 7-9 weeks
Nic Naitanui (knee) Indefinite
Coach Luke Beveridge has flagged the likelihood Western Bulldogs will target a key-position player in Monday's mid-season draft after the club's talls were monstered by North Melbourne.
Todd Goldstein was instrumental in the Roos' 18.7 (115) to 13.12 (90) triumph on Saturday, finishing with 28 disposals and 57 hit-outs opposed to Tim English (11 possessions, seven hit-outs) and Zaine Cordy (eight disposals, eight hit-outs).
The Bulldogs will have two mid-season selections due to the retirement of premiership players Liam Picken and Tom Boyd.
"We have got our sights on a player or two who might be able to help us," Beveridge said.
"It's a big need on our list, absolutely.
"Whether it's in this draft or the next one, we need to make sure we bolster our stocks on our list from a key-position point of view."
SANFL forward Hugo Munn, Coburg VFL backman Harry Nolan and former Collingwood player Sam McLarty (Williamstown) are considered three of the leading key-position prospects for the mid-season draft.
Ben Cavarra (hamstring) 2-3 weeks
Taylor Duryea (hip) 2-3 weeks
Fergus Greene (ankle) 1-2 weeks
Dale Morris (knee) 3-4 weeks