Demons bring back four AFL stars for Swans

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Melbourne have brought back four AFL premiership players in a major boost for the AFL heavyweights as they aim to bounce back from their first loss of 2022.

Defender Christian Salem has been named for his first game since round one when the Demons clash with Sydney at the SCG on Saturday night.

Salem injured his knee in the opening round grand final rematch against the Western Bulldogs.

Joining Salem back in the line-up is Ed Langdon (ribs), Tom McDonald (ankle) and James Harmes (calf).

Versatile defender Adam Tomlinson, who missed last year's run to the premiership after injuring his ACL, has been recalled as cover for All-Australian star Steven May (concussion).

Sam Weideman, Toby Bedford, Trent Rivers, Jake Melksham and Luke Dunstan make way.

For the Swans, defender Nick Blakey and developing tall Joel Amartey come into the side as superstar veteran Lance Franklin sits out due to a one-game suspension for striking.

In the other showdown of the round, the Brisbane Lions have picked Hugh McLuggage for Sunday's clash with Fremantle after the star midfielder missed just one game due to a hamstring strain.

The Dockers have been hit by injuries after their upset of Melbourne last Saturday, with star veteran Michael Waters (hamstring), Matt Taberner (back) and defender Heath Chapman (hamstring) ruled out of the top-four blockbuster at Optus Stadium.

"(Chapman) will undergo scans in the coming days which will provide clarity on the extent of the injury," Fremantle football manager Peter Bell said.

"Michael has some tightness and awareness in his hamstring, so it was decided not to risk him this week."

Fremantle have opted to ease captain Nat Fyfe back through the WAFL with the dual Brownlow medallist having experienced a frustrating run with injury this year.

Western Bulldogs star Bailey Smith has recovered from illness and will take on Geelong at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.

Despite former No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan booting six goals in the VFL last week, Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has decided against recalling the promising forward.

The Cats will be boosted by the return of ruckman Rhys Stanley and dynamic forward Gary Rohan.

North Melbourne will welcome back key defender Ben McKay from a knee injury but the Kangaroos have lost forward Cam Zurhaar for Saturday's clash with in-form Gold Coast in Darwin.

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