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Griffen back, Mumford fit for AFL Giants

AAP logoAAP 27/07/2016 By Adrian Warren

GWS Giants coach Leon Cameron has warned the pressure is rising for spots in his surging AFL side, with a number of stars coming back from injury.

Three players - veteran Ryan Griffen, fellow midfielder Lachie Whitfield and defender Matthew Buntine - are pushing for a recall to the senior side for Saturday's home clash with Richmond in Canberra.

Griffen and Buntine have missed three and two games respectively with hamstring issues and Whitfield has been out for two weeks, after a bad bout of tonsillitis which led to him losing four to five kilos.

Influential ruckman Shane Mumford is also poised to face the Tigers, though he didn't train on Wednesday.

Mumford was cleared of any structural knee damage after coming off against Port Adelaide last weekend and is expected to train on Friday and play the following day.

Although key back Caleb Marchbank's injury-plagued season was prematurely ended this week by a shoulder problem, the Giants injury list is looking better and smaller than for some time.

Tim Mohr is back from injury and fellow key defender Aidan Corr (ankle) and midfielder Jacob Hopper (back) are both expected to return in the next week or two.

"Those sorts of guys are hungry, which puts a lot of pressure on the guys that are playing at AFL level," Cameron said.

"With Ryan coming back, Matty Buntine, Lachie Whitfield, we're probably going to have about 38, 39 to pick from on the weekend, which is great.

"Starting this weekend, there's no doubt selections are going to be tough because there's a lot of boys that are putting their hands up.

"What's good about this is that it's tight for selection now and if you're in the ones then you've got to perform and that's why I'm really confident we're going to come with a really hungry appetite on Saturday.'

Cameron was adamant the Giants now had sufficient depth in the ruck if Mumford did go down.

He said Rory Lobb had come of age and developed in leaps and bounds as a key forward and ruckman.

Cameron said youngster Tom Downie had really progressed and former Geelong big man Dawson Simpson was coming on well after a slow start to the season and played his best game for he reserves last week.

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