Essendon will welcome back captain Dyson Heppell in Thursday night's round four clash with Sydney at the SCG.

The 28-year-old will play his first game since round one, having overcome a back complaint that sidelined him against Port Adelaide and St Kilda.

He replaces half-back Mason Redman (hamstring awareness), while last week's activated sub Tom Cutler has been omitted.

GALLERY: CAPTAIN'S RUN AT SCG

Veteran David Zaharakis has been named an emergency, and could play his first game of the season should he be named the medical sub.

Senior coach Ben Rutten said Heppell's return would be a significant boost for the Bombers, who fielded the most inexperienced side of round three with an average of 61 games per player.

"To be able to bring Heppell back into our team, he obviously adds great leadership and experience to our group," Rutten said.

"He's missed so much footy over the last couple of years, so we want him to get a lot of continuity in his game."

02:23 Mins
Published ago

Rd 4 | Team selection

Senior coach Ben Rutten takes us through the team to face the Swans at the SCG tomorrow night.

Published ago

The Bombers will take on the second-placed Swans from 7:20pm AEST. Click here for a match preview.

ESSENDON'S ROUND FOUR TEAM:

Backs: Jayden Laverde, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, Aaron Franci
Half-backs: Harrison Jones, Jordan Ridley, Nick Hind
Centre: Kyle Langford, Dyson Heppell (C), Brayden Ham
Half-forwards: Devon Smith, Cale Hooker, Zach Merrett
Forwards: Jake Stringer, Peter Wright, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
Followers: Nik Cox, Darcy Parish, Andrew McGrath
Interchange: Will Snelling, Matt Guelfi, Archie Perkins, Alec Waterman

Emergencies: David Zaharakis, Ned Cahill, Nick Bryan, Zach Reid

In: Heppell

Out: Redman (hamstring awareness), Cutler (omitted)

Last week's sub: Cutler (used)