No.10 draft pick Zach Reid will make his long-awaited AFL return on Sunday, having been named in the Bombers' final 22 to face the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium.
Reid, 20, made his AFL debut against Brisbane at the Gabba last season before being struck down by glandular fever and then foot injuries.
The talented tall defender returned via the VFL a month ago, and has been among the Bombers' best players in their past two games against Port Melbourne and Collingwood.
Reid joins Tom Cutler as inclusions to face the Bulldogs, while Dylan Shiel and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher have been omitted. Nick Hind also exits the side after being activated as medical sub last week.
See below as senior coach Ben Rutten explains the changes.
ESSENDON'S RD 7 TEAM:
Backs: Dyson Heppell (C), Zach Reid, Jordan Ridley
Half-backs: Andrew McGrath, Jake Kelly, Mason Redman
Centreline: Nic Martin, Zach Merrett, Nik Cox
Half-forwards: Archie Perkins, Alec Waterman, Matt Guelfi
Forwards: Ben Hobbs, Peter Wright, Sam Durham
Followers: Sam Draper, Darcy Parish, Jake Stringer
Interchange: Tom Cutler, Jayden Laverde, Jye Caldwell, Kaine Baldwin
Emergencies: Nick Hind, Dylan Shiel, Nick Bryan, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher.
In: Reid, Cutler
Out: Shiel (omitted), Zerk-Thatcher (omitted), Hind (medical sub)
Last week's medical sub: Hind (replaced Laverde)
Milestone: McGrath - 100 AFL games