Deputy vice-captain Andrew McGrath will return to Essendon's side to face Brisbane in Sunday's round 17 fixture at The Gabba.

After injuring his adductor in round 14, McGrath will help bolster a backline that will need to be at its best facing a potent Lions outfit.

Among the potential inclusions for Sunday's clash are Brayden Ham, Andrew Phillips and Alec Waterman.

Ham was a solid contributor in the VFL, notching 15 disposals. Waterman will also push his case after some consistent weeks.

Phillips looms as a possibility to help bolster Essendon’s ruck stocks after spending last week as an unused medical sub against Sydney.

Essendon's final side will be announced on Friday at 5pm AEST.

Essendon's round 17 team

Backs: Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, Jayden Laverde, Dyson Heppell
Half-backs: Massimo D’Ambrosio, Nick Hind, Mason Redman
Centreline: Andrew McGrath, Zach Merrett, Nic Martin
Half-forwards: Kyle Langford, Matt Guelfi, Ben Hobbs
Forwards: Peter Wright, Jake Stringer, Harrison Jones
Followers: Sam Draper, Dylan Shiel, Darcy Parish
Extended bench: Jake Kelly, Jye Caldwell, Alec Waterman, Andrew Phillips, Sam Durham, Brayden Ham, Jordan Ridley, Will Snelling 

In: Ham, Waterman, Phillips

Last week’s medical sub: Andrew Phillips (not used)