Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich will miss Sunday’s AFL clash with North Melbourne as he continues to battle achilles tendon soreness.
Pavlich was sent for scans on his left Achilles last week after pulling up sore from the club’s win over St Kilda two weeks ago.
It’s believed the harder turf at Etihad Stadium contributed to his soreness.
The 33-year-old was eventually cleared to play in last week’s derby, kicking two goals from 15 disposals in a 24-point loss to West Coast.
But with Etihad Stadium again looming this week, the Dockers opted to play it safe with Pavlich by ruling him out against the Kangaroos.
Football operations manager Chris Bond is hopeful Pavlich will return for next week’s clash with Melbourne in Perth.
Fremantle need Pavlich fit and firing for the finals if they are to have a genuine chance of snaring the flag.
The six-time All-Australian had played every game this season, booting 36 goals in 19 outings.
Fremantle have struggled to cement a stable attacking line-up this season, with defender Alex Pearce playing as a forward in recent weeks after Matt Taberner and Zac Clarke struggled in the role.