Fremantle coach Ross Lyon will consider resting Matthew Pavlich when the Dockers attempt to snare their fourth win on the trot in Friday night’s clash with Collingwood at the MCG.
Pavlich starred with four goals and seven marks in Saturday’s 17-point AFL win over Port Adelaide in Perth.
The 34-year-old has already been rested once this season, while he also missed the round-12 win over Brisbane with a minor groin niggle.
Pavlich is just four games away from reaching the 350-game milestone, and it appears the Dockers don’t want to take any risks with the six-time All-Australian.
A six-day break – combined with a trip to Melbourne – means Lyon might leave Pavlich at home for the match against Collingwood.
“He is no certainty,” Lyon said.
“We take it a week at a time and we’ll see how he pulls up and we’ll see how he is.”
Pavlich has 687 goals to his name. placing him 22nd on the all-time VFL/AFL goalkicking list.
If he can kick 13 more goals and play four more games, he’ll become just the third player to reach both the 350-game and 700-goal mark.
Jack Hannath is in line to replace forward Tanner Smith, who injured his hamstring against Port Adelaide.
The Dockers (3-10) are suddenly an in-form team after beating Essendon, Brisbane, and Port Adelaide in successive weeks.
Collingwood (4-8) enter Friday’s match on the back of a three-game losing streak, but they’ll be fresh after having the bye.
Port Adelaide (6-7) face an uphill battle to secure a finals berth after falling two wins and almost 20 percentage points adrift of eighth spot.
Power coach Ken Hinkley questioned his team’s courage after the loss to Fremantle.
And he was left with another big headache when back-up ruckman Dougal Howard suffered a suspected ACL tear to his left knee.
Howard’s injury leaves another big hole in Port’s ruck stocks, with Matthew Lobbe (knee) and Paddy Ryder (doping suspension) already unavailable.
Hinkley wants his team to own up to their dire situation during the upcoming bye week, and he hopes they’ll come back reinvigorated when they tackle Richmond at Adelaide Oval on July 1.
“It’s going to be incredibly tough (to make finals),” Hinkley said.
“You’ve got a two-game break from the top-eight sides now with nine games to go.
“But we’ve got no right to drop away.
“We’ll refresh, recharge, come back and stick at it, and keep going, and commit to the cause and try to improve ourselves every week.”