The Sydney Swans remain confident Lance Franklin is on track for round two while the Giants are confident their former skipper Callan Ward will return having not played since he hurt his knee in round four last season.
The Giants will be without reigning best and fairest winner Tim Taranto after he injured his shoulder in the opening round however North Melbourne skipper Jack Ziebell has recovered from the medial strain he suffered in the comeback win over the Saints.
Essendon speedster Conor McKenna returned from Ireland on Saturday and will go into 14-day quarantine before he joins group training. The two week lead in to round one will make it difficult for the 24-year-old who played a practice match at Colac but missed the opening round.
The Bombers’ skipper Heppell revealed in April he had not yet begun running and Essendon are expected to be cautious about his return after he required surgery on his foot while it will be 12 months on Monday since Daniher last played and his availability remains uncertain.
Collingwood have said veteran Lynden Dunn won’t be ready to return from his ACL operation in round two but the Cats hope defender Jake Kolodjashnij will be recovered from his hip injury but will know more after assessing their players this week.
Clubs will not play any practice matches against other clubs before round two so they will only have match simulation to prepare with Buttifant saying modified intraclub games were way less intense than practice matches as coaches and conditioning staff wanted to reduce the risk of injury.
“Clubs will have to be careful because the last time some played could be August or September,” Buttifant said.
“They will get through their first game. It is usually their second or third game that they become a bit vulnerable.”
Carlton big man Harry McKay has gone through a mini pre-season as he returns from a groin injury while the Blues are confident Eddie Betts, who missed round one, will be right as will Zac Fisher and Nic Newman after round one injuries.
Matt Kreuzer won’t return until later in the season while Charlie Curnow has been ruled out.
The Western Bulldogs expect midfielder Tom Liberatore and Hawthorn premiership player Taylor Duryea to be available although they will be without Lachie Hunter who will be serving a four-match suspension after crashing into park cars after drinking during the shutdown.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.