Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says Nat Fyfe is only a 50-50 chance to return for Sunday’s AFL clash with St Kilda at Etihad Stadium, while Zac Dawson is set for another frustrating stint on the sidelines.
Fyfe missed Sunday’s 21-point win over GWS with a groin injury, and Lyon says the Brownlow medal favourite may need another week on the sidelines.
“He trained a little bit (on Sunday). He would still be 50-50 I reckon for the Saints game,” Lyon said.
Sunday’s match was Dawson’s first of the season after finally overcoming groin and thumb issues.
But the former Saint has been slapped with a two-match suspension after striking GWS forward Jeremy Cameron on the nose with a stray elbow.
Cameron bled profusely after receiving the hit, and angrily remonstrated with Dawson once he returned to the field.
Although Dawson wasn’t facing Cameron when he swung his right elbow back, the incident was classified as careless contact and high impact by the AFL’s match review panel.
If Dawson chooses to fight the charge, he runs the risk of a three-match ban.
In better news for the Dockers, defender Michael Johnson is back in full training and could be an outside chance to return for the August 16 western derby against West Coast.
Johnson has been sidelined since tearing his hamstring in the round-10 loss to Richmond, and his looming return would be a huge boost to the Dockers’ flag chances.
The Saints are set to recall gun forward Nick Riewoldt, who missed Sunday’s 63-point loss to Port Adelaide because of a calf injury.
Dawson’s suspension paves the way for Matt Taberner to return to the side.
Taberner was dropped for the win over GWS, with defender Alex Pearce thrust forward instead.
Pearce showed some promise in attack, but Dawson’s absence means he’ll probably be shifted back to defence this week.
Taberner and fellow youngster Connor Blakely both re-signed with the Dockers on Monday, with the pair locked away until the end of 2017.
Fremantle’s win over GWS lifted them three wins clear of third spot, all but guaranteeing them a top-two finish.
But Lyon admits his team have been lacking clear polish in recent times.