Nat Fyfe’s hopes for back-to-back Brownlow Medals are over after it was confirmed the star Fremantle midfielder has fractured his left leg again.
Fyfe has flown to Melbourne to undergo surgery after scans revealed he has fractured the same leg he broke in last year’s preliminary final loss to Hawthorn.
He suffered the injury while being slung into the artificial turf during Sunday’s shock four-point home loss to Carlton.
Adding to the slumping Dockers’ misery, defender Michael Johnson is also set for a significant stint on the sidelines after tearing his hamstring and damaging the medial ligament in his knee.
Dockers coach Ross Lyon says no return date has been set for Fyfe, with the 24-year-old a chance to miss the rest of the season.
“All our players are special to us, and the care’s important,” Lyon told Southern Cross Austereo on Monday.
“There’ll be no return to play date put out. It will just be what’s best for Nathan when he’s 100 per cent.”
The stand-in skipper returned to the field in the second half, but lasted just three more minutes before limping off.
Johnson will also miss a sizeable chunk of the season after injuring his knee and hamstring.
Like Fyfe, Johnson returned to the field, but was clearly hindered.
Fyfe edged out Matt Priddis to win the 2015 Brownlow.
His injury will boost this year’s Brownlow hopes of Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield, Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchell, and Sydney’s Luke Parker among others.
Fyfe’s setback comes at the worst possible time for Fremantle, who are rock bottom at 0-5 and face the in-form Crows at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
Lyon admits he needs to go back to the drawing board after his side’s horror start to the year.
The 10th-year coach described the loss to Carlton as one of the most disappointing he’s ever experienced, citing horror turnovers and poor decision making as his team’s undoing.