Nat Fyfe’s Brownlow hopes have taken another hit, with the star Fremantle midfielder to miss a second straight AFL match because of a groin injury.
The Dockers opted to play it safe with Fyfe by ruling him out of Sunday’s clash with St Kilda at Etihad Stadium after the 23-year-old also missed last week’s win over GWS.
But the Dockers are hopeful he’ll return for the August 16 western derby against West Coast.
Fyfe remains the raging hot favourite to win the Brownlow Medal.
But his two matches on the sidelines, plus a series of quieter performances before that while he battled a corked calf, have opened the door for the likes of Matt Priddis, Todd Goldstein and Daniel Hannebery to swoop and win the medal.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact Fyfe has already been fined twice by the AFL’s match review panel this season, meaning one more minor offence will result in a one-match suspension.
If that eventuated, it would rule him out of the Brownlow medal running for a second straight season.
Fyfe performed a series of run throughs on Wednesday at training.
But with the start of the finals just over a month away, the Dockers decided not to risk Fyfe this week.
Meanwhile, Dockers midfielder David Mundy says his team can’t afford to be cocky if they are to bust their hoodoo against St Kilda.
The Dockers have lost 10 of their past 12 matches against St Kilda, including the most-recent two.
Fremantle were flying high in second spot when they faced the struggling Saints in round 18 last year, but a shock 58-point loss put a major dent in their premiership hopes.
The Dockers ended up finishing the home-and-away season in fourth spot, before making a straight-sets finals exit.
Mundy said the group were determined to make up for last year’s flop against the Saints.
“Last time we played them was a really bad game on our behalf,” Mundy said.
“We probably underestimated them a little bit – went over a bit cocky.
“The last game really burns the group and it’s something we are striving not to have happen again.”
Mundy was laid low by a migraine before last week’s 21-point win over GWS.
The 30-year-old managed to recover in time to play the game, and said the issue was something he’d had to deal with throughout his 227-game career.
“It’s something I’ve been getting ever since I was a teenager,” Mundy said.
“They’re obviously not pleasant, but the club’s really understanding and we’ve got a fairly spot-on management plan for them when they pop up.”