On the same day they re-signed Aaron Sandilands, AFL leaders Fremantle have received a serious blow with key defender Michael Johnson ruled out for at least two months.
Johnson suffered what coach Ross Lyon described as a “little hamstring tweak” early in Fremantle’s Friday night loss to Richmond – their first defeat of the season – but on Monday he was ruled out for eight to 10 weeks.
Johnson, who was playing his 200th game, had scans at the weekend which revealed the severe nature of the hamstring tear.
It’s a further blow to a depleted Dockers defence already missing Zac Dawson (broken thumb) and the unlucky Alex Silvagni (hamstring) long-term.
Four-time All-Australian ruckman Sandilands signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him at the Dockers through the 2016 AFL season.
The 32-year-old has been outstanding in Fremantle’s exceptional start to the 2015 season, setting records for most hit-outs in a game and most hit-outs to advantage.
Now in his 12th AFL season, Sandilands has played 226 games for the Dockers and is determined to do all he can to bring a premiership to the only AFL club he has played for.
“We’ve got a great bunch of guys at the club at the moment, that (group) is really determined,” Sandilands told the club website.
“We’re all trying to achieve the same goal and its a privilege to be part of the group.
“I’m keen for success, it was easy to (choose) to stay.
“I feel like my body is in pretty good nick at the moment and to get another 12 months with these guys has made me really happy.”
Sandilands was among three re-signings for the Dockers, with back-up ruckman Jon Griffin inking a two-year extension and veteran Matt de Boer signing on until the end of 2016.