If the finals of the Toyota 2017 AFL Premiership competition were to be decided on the basis of health, the Richmond Tigers would win the flag, hands, er, paws down.
Richmond has an unbelievably short casualty list, with only Nathan Drummond will be off the list for the Saturday preliminary against the Greater Western Sydney Giants. In proof that justice does exist, at least for this week, the game will be held at the MCG, not in Sydney, as was the semifinal.
The Giants, on the other hand, have four seniors missing-Matt Buntine, Jeremy Cameron, Adam Kennedy and Shane Mumford. All four have lower body issues and all four are done for 2017.
On the other side of the draw, the injury advantage would have to belong to the Adelaide Crows. They will be without Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Jordan Gallucci, Elliott Himmelberg, Mitch McGovern and Brodie Smith.
Only McGovern has any hope of returning this year, but he is regarded as highly unlikely for the game against the Geelong Cats. He is doing a bit of running, but the best-case scenario is that he would be available for the Grand Final, provided the Crows win, but he could have used the bye week here, as opposed to the end of the home-and-away season.
Geelong has the makings of a side in its casualty ward. Nine players are in various stages of rehab. Four are done for the season, four are potential returns and Esava Ratugolea is nursing a broken hand. Tom Lonergan is expected to be fit, as he was simply misfortunate in encountering a bout with food poisoning. Stay away from that Indian takeaway, Tom.
Geelong midfielder Cam Guthrie hopes to have his calf issue behind him, although calves are the sort of thing that can return without warning.
The Crows, with home ground, which availed them not last season, are listed as 17.5-point favourites against the Cats. Richmond will have to outscore the Giants by at least 9.5 in order to pay any punters who accept that proposition.