BY MICHAEL RAMSEY
WEST Coast midfielder Sam Mitchell has been ruled out of facing Hawthorn in Sunday’s AFL clash at the MCG.
The four-time premiership player initially feared he had broken his leg, when he injured his ankle last week against Sydney, but had been hopeful of recovering in time to face the Hawks.
Mitchell said he was disappointed he couldn’t face his former side but hoped to line up against Fremantle next week.
“It’s getting better by the day but it’s not good enough for this week unfortunately,” he told the Eagles website.
“I did a fitness test and got 10 per cent into it and realised it wasn’t going to be good enough.”
Forward Jack Darling has been added to the Eagles’ extended 25-man squad after missing the Swans clash with an ankle complaint.
The winless Hawks have recalled Ty Vickery but fellow off-season recruit Jaeger O’Meara will miss another week as he recovers from a knock to the knee.
Sydney’s hopes of upsetting Greater Western Sydney in Saturday night’s derby at the SCG have been bolstered, with Isaac Heeney, Kurt Tippett and Gary Rohan named alongside debutant Lewis Melican.
Youngsters Aliir Aliir, Nic Newman and Oliver Florent have all been omitted along with Robbie Fox (knee), while the Giants have named veteran Steve Johnson in place of Tim Taranto (managed).
North Melbourne big man Mason Wood will play for the first time since last July after being named to face Fremantle on Saturday night.
The Roos have rested ruckman Braydon Preuss and dropped Nathan Hrovat for debutant Ed Vickers-Willis, while the Dockers have replaced rookie Harley Balic (hip) with Darcy Tucker.
Adelaide’s Brad Crouch is also set for his first run of the season on Saturday when the Crows face Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium.
The talented midfielder comes in for Jake Kelly, who has an eye injury, while Callum Ah Chee will replace Steven May (hamstring) for the Suns.
Western Bulldogs defender Shane Biggs has been named to replace Travis Cloke (broken ribs) for Saturday’s game against Brisbane, with ruckman Tom Boyd cleared to play after being concussed last week.
The Lions have made three changes after being thrashed last week by Richmond, recalling Ryan Harwood, Ryan Bastinac and Liam Dawson.
Star Port Adelaide ruckman Paddy Ryder is set to return from suspension on Friday night when the Power host Carlton.
The Blues will field 10 players aged under 21, having replaced veterans Dale Thomas and Matthew Kreuzer (soreness) with Andrew Phillips and debutant Cameron Polson.
St Kilda stalwarts David Armitage (groin) and Tom Hickey (managed) will miss Sunday’s clash with Geelong at Etihad Stadium but star midfielder Jack Steven will return from a punctured lung.
Geelong have included George Horlin-Smith, who has recovered from a broken thumb, in their extended squad.
Teams for Monday’s clash between Richmond and Melbourne and the Anzac Day game between Collingwood and Essendon will be named on Saturday afternoon.
© AAP 2017