The AFL playing stocks of GWS have taken another hit after forward Bobby Hill returned to locked-down Sydney to be with his pregnant partner and ruckman Matt Flynn was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
GWS and Sydney were forced to flee to Melbourne on June 22 after the COVID-19 outbreak in NSW.
The teams have since moved to Queensland after Victoria's own coronavirus outbreak and they are almost certain to spend the rest of the AFL season on the road.
Hill, in consultation with the Giants, made the decision to fly back home to Sydney on Monday morning.
GWS are still hopeful Hill will be able to return to Queensland, along with his partner, once the AFL sets up a transition hub for families, staff and any other players that want to rejoin the Giants and Swans.
As a best-case scenario, Hill will miss at least two matches given he'll need to quarantine for 14 days once he re-enters Queensland.
The 21-year-old missed last week's loss to the Swans, with the Giants citing "managed" as their reason for leaving him out.
"Bobby returned home to Sydney with our full support," GWS general manager of football Jason McCartney said.
"As we know, the two Sydney clubs have faced plenty of challenges over the past few weeks and we appreciate the sacrifices our players and staff have made.
"Family comes first so Bobby will return home now with our full support and if the option becomes available for him to re-join the group then we'll welcome him back as soon as we can."
Hill's absence is another blow to GWS, who are still without quarantining quartet Toby Greene, Matt De Boer, Kieren Briggs and Jake Stein.
All four players are required to complete 14 days of quarantine - classified as Tier 2 contacts after their attendance at the Wallabies game against France at AAMI Park.
They will all be unavailable for this week's clash with Essendon.
Flynn dislocated his shoulder against Sydney last week and is set to fly back to Sydney to consult with a surgeon.
The Giants expect he'll need a reconstruction.
But there was better news for midfield star Josh Kelly, who is in line to play against the Bombers after being cleared of any serious damage to the ankle he injured last week.
Fellow midfielder Lachie Whitfield is expected to return from concussion.
The 12th-placed Giants are just two competition points adrift of eighth-placed Essendon, with the race for finals spots set to go down to the wire.
Australian Associated Press