The GIANTS have added six to their squad to face the Bombers at Metricon Stadium on Sunday night.
Veteran ruck Shane Mumford will return after Matt Flynn dislocated his shoulder in the Sydney Derby last week, requiring season-ending shoulder surgery.
Star midfielder Lachie Whitfield is set to take his place in the line-up after missing last week following a concussion in round 17.
Coach Leon Cameron confirmed on Thursday that Whitfield had passes all his tests so far and was expected to return for Sunday’s crucial clash.
Also set to play is Josh Kelly who will notch up his 150th game for the club, becoming the GIANTS’ ninth life member.
The 2017 Kevin Sheedy Medallist rolled his ankle during last week’s match but has progressed well across this week in his bid to play.
Along with Flynn missing though injury, forward Jeremy Finlayson has been omitted.
Included on an extended interchange bench are Zach Sproule, Jake Riccardi, Lachie Ash and James Peatling.
Sproule was a late addition to last week’s squad - after Toby Greene and Matt de Boer were forced out under COVID protocols - coming on as the medi-sub in the third quarter.
Ash comes back into the selection frame after being omitted last week while Riccardi has shown strong VFL form in recent weeks.
Peatling makes his first appearance in the 26-man squad after adapting quickly to life as an AFL footballer since being the club’s first mid-season rookie pick this year.
De Boer and Greene - along with Kieren Briggs and Jake Stein - will miss this week’s game while still in isolation but will be available for round 20.
The GIANTS take on Essendon on Sunday at 6:10pm at Metricon Stadium.
Essendon v GIANTS
Sunday, July 25 at 6:10pm
FB: Sam Taylor, Phil Davis, Isaac Cumming
HB: Harry Perryman, Nick Haynes, Adam Kennedy
C: Josh Kelly, Tom Green, Lachie Whitfield
HF: Brent Daniels, Harry Himmelberg, Tim Taranto
FF: Daniel Lloyd, Jesse Hogan, Tanner Bruhn
RR: Shane Mumford, Stephen Coniglio, Jacob Hopper
Interchange (from): Xavier O’Halloran, Callan Ward, Sam Reid, Connor Idun, Zach Sproule, Jake Riccardi, Lachie Ash, James Peatling
In: Shane Mumford, Lachie Whitfield, Zach Sproule, Jake Riccardi, Lachie Ash, James Peatling
Out: Matt Flynn (injured), Jeremy Finlayson (omitted)