Dockers AFL stars no certainty to return
Posted on 09/13/18 6:52 PM
Aaron Sandilands and Nat Fyfe are two of Fremantle’s most important AFL players.Will Fremantle fans see Nat Fyfe, Aaron Sandilands and Harley Bennell again this year?
The star trio are working their way back from injuries and time is running out for them to appear again in 2018.
Fyfe has missed the past six games with a hamstring injury while Sandilands (calf) hasn’t been seen since the round 13 win over Carlton.
Bennell (calf) hasn’t played any senior football this year but he has at least been able to string together 10 WAFL games.
The Dockers take on Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday, before finishing their season with a home match against Collingwood.
Coach Ross Lyon says Fyfe is only a slim chance to return against the Cats.
Even if the Dockers skipper recovers in time for the final round, Fremantle are no guarantee to play him given there is little to play for.
Fremantle could take the same approach with Sandilands and Bennell in the final round.
Bennell could return to the WAFL fold this weekend if his calf holds up well during training and there’s the possibility he could play finals if Peel Thunder make it.
Star veteran Michael Walters has been ruled out for the rest of the season after injuring his left hamstring in Sunday’s 29-point win over Carlton.
“It’s a big number now, I think we’re looking at 14 or 15 players on our list,” Dockers coach Ross Lyon said of his team’s growing injury list.
“So it’s a bit of a challenge and a fair bit of quality in there.
“From our end, if you think Sandilands, Fyfe, (Stephen) Hill, (Connor) Blakely, (Andrew) Brayshaw and Griffin Logue … there’s more than we desire in there.”
Sunday’s victory took Fremantle’s tally for the year to eight – the same number of games they won in 2017.
But even if Fremantle can’t improve on that figure in the final two rounds, Lyon feels his team have taken a step forward this year given the amount of youth they have played.