Fremantle’s list looks more like a casualty ward at the minute, but goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne says the team risks even more injuries if they abandon their hard-at-it approach.
The Dockers have been ravaged by injuries all season, and currently have 19 players featured on their official injury list.
Ruckman Jon Griffin (hamstring) is a chance to return for Saturday night’s clash with Melbourne in Darwin, but stars such as Nat Fyfe, Aaron Sandilands, Harley Bennell, and Michael Johnson are nursing serious injuries.
Ballantyne has escaped the carnage so far.
But he dismissed suggestions some players may opt to take their foot off the pedal in order to avoid becoming the latest casualty.
“My own philosophy is that if you worry about that too much, that’s when you get really hurt,” Ballantyne said.
“You take a backward step, and you get even more hurt.
“(We need to) still play the exact same way. Go as hard as you can.”
Surprisingly, Ballantyne has been able to avoid the team’s injury carnage despite his history of soft tissue injuries.
The 28-year-old has played every game this season, and he hopes that trend continues.
“I don’t want to jinx myself here, but this is the longest period of footy I’ve played in my career,” Ballantyne said.
The Dockers’ fledgling side showed much promise during recent wins against Essendon, Brisbane, and Port Adelaide.
But they were given a harsh reality check in their last game – a 48-point thrashing at the hands of Collingwood at the MCG.
Ballantyne said the players were keen to bounce back against Melbourne.