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Williams Ruled Out But Duo Could Return

Presser: Leon Cameron on Round 10 Senior Coach Leon Cameron talks to the media ahead of the GIANTS' Round 10 clash with the Demons at the MCG on Sunday.
Clearly, he gives us lots of drive and uses the ball well off half-back, and he defends really well, so that will definitely be discussed.
GIANTS coach Leon Cameron on Lachie Whitfield

Gun small defender Zac Williams has been ruled out of the GIANTS' clash with Melbourne on Sunday, but vice-captain Stephen Coniglio and Aidan Corr are both a chance to return at the MCG.

Williams, who strained his left hamstring in the second quarter of the GIANTS' 93-point demolition of Carlton on Sunday and played no further part in the match, could miss at least a couple of games. 

Coniglio sat out of Tuesday's light session as he continues to nurse the finger he dislocated against Sydney in round six but is expected to push his case for a recall on Wednesday against the Demons after missing last week's win over the Blues.

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GIANTS coach Leon Cameron said Coniglio's issue is gradually improving week by week, especially after not playing against Carlton, but the midfielder will likely need to play with some pain for the near future.

"If he'd needed surgery we would have done it three or four weeks ago," he said.

"He's got to be able to put up with some discomfort, there's varying degrees of that, and the last couple of weeks it was probably quite high.

"Having 14 days between games will hopefully allow him to play some good footy for us this weekend, but if we don't think that's the right decision then we won't make it." 

Like Coniglio, Corr was also on light duties on Tuesday but looks ready to resume against Melbourne after missing the past two games with an ankle problem. 

Both players are part of the GIANTS' best and would be important inclusions for the team's second visit to the MCG in three weeks, but if they remain sidelined, Cameron has multiple options available to replace Williams.

Young onballers Jackson Hately, Jye Caldwell, Aiden Bonar and Nick Shipley are in fantastic NEAFL form and adding any of them to the midfield rotation would allow Adam Kennedy to switch from the wing and give the defence some speed and run. 

Cameron could also look at moving club champion Lachie Whitfield back to half-back from his role as a high half-forward, where he gathered 41 disposals and kicked three goals against the Blues. 

Isaac Cumming's versatility could also be vital against the Demons and if he's included as a straight swap for Williams across half-back, Cameron can leave Whitfield to be the link man on the vast MCG surface where the GIANTS' ball movement has been an issue.

"The good thing about Lachie is whether he plays wing or midfield or half-forward or half-back, he still covers a lot of those areas," Cameron said.

"Clearly, he gives us lots of drive and uses the ball well off half-back, and he defends really well, so that will definitely be discussed. 

"But there's a number of the guys, there's probably seven or eight putting up their hands, which is pleasing."

Veteran Brett Deledio kicked three goals from 19 possessions in his return game against the Blues and showed he could be extremely valuable across half-forward for the GIANTS if he can stay on the field. 

Cameron said Deledio pulled up well from his first game since round two, but his long-running calf issues would continue to be monitored closely. 

"He's got this great ability to perform really well first-up (off a long layoff), the challenge now is to (perform well) second-up," he said.

"We know we're not going to get him any fitter at his age, we just have to make sure his week-to-week preparation is perfect."