Injury-plagued Fremantle midfielder Harley Bennell has been ruled out of round one of the AFL season as he continues to recover from his latest calf injury.
The star onballer is yet to play a senior game for the Dockers since making a high-profile move from Gold Coast at the end of the 2015 season.
Bennell missed all of last season because of problems with his right calf and suffered a blow two months ago when he injured his ‘good’ left calf.
In a bid to find a fix to Bennell’s issues, Fremantle sent their star recruit to Germany in December to receive preventative treatment from soft-tissue expert Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt.
But Dockers coach Ross Lyon says Bennell is some way off playing and will miss their opening round home clash against Geelong on March 26.
“He won’t be available for round one but his rehab is progressing well, particularly post Germany,” Lyon said on Thursday.
“We expect to see him, if all goes to plan, in the early rounds.”
The 24-year-old is rated as one of the brightest talents in the game but injuries and off-field issues have limited him to just 45 games over the past four seasons.
Speaking in a Facebook Q&A session, Lyon said the Dockers’ leadership group would be unveiled by the end of February.
Veteran David Mundy has stated his desire to remain captain but returning star Nat Fyfe appears certain to put his hand up as well.