Stevie Johnson may be fit and available for a potential last game at Simonds Stadium, but he is no guarantee to come in to the Giants team to take on the Cats in a critical top-four game.
Johnson is still to be cleared fit to play after his troublesome knee, but with an understanding of a venue that is difficult for visiting teams, the former Cats star would be a logical selection. But who goes out to fit him in is the issue.
Matt de Boer has played well and applies defensive pressure. The other alternative is Devon Smith.
Rory Lobb is likely to be fit, which puts pressure on Harry Himmelberg to keep his spot.
The Cats will certainly welcome back Tom Hawkins after suspension.
Geelong football manager Steve Hocking said Rhys Stanley and Mark Blicavs would be tested later in the week and were both reasonable chances to be fit.
Essendon’s former captain Jobe Watson is almost certain to play against Fremantle on Sunday. The Bombers must win to stay in the eight but against lowly Fremantle that would seem likely.
Josh Green has a suspected fractured foot and will not play again this year. Travis Colyer is likely to come in for him. Jake Long would have been in the mix to come into the side but he was suspended for three matches in the VFL.
For Melbourne, co-captain Jack Viney has recovered slower than expected but he will be assessed and push to play this week against Collingwood in a game the Demons must win to stay in the eight. The bye the week after this last round will be a consideration for managing his foot.
“Jack’s probably been a little bit slower than we thought he’d be,” Melbourne’s high-performance manager David Misson told Melbourne TV. “He had a little bit of soreness after not having a long time [on the sidelines] after his initial surgery.
“He’s been loading that foot up with those games that he’s played, so he’s improving every day. As [coach] Simon Goodwin’s been saying, we’re taking it day-by-day and we’ve been encouraged by how much he’s improved in the last couple of days, but we’ll assess him later in the week.”
Demons ruckman Jake Spencer is a chance to play weekend after missing the past two matches in the VFL with an abdominal injury.
“Jake is looking really good,” Misson said.