Stars out to prove AFL fitness

Fremantle star Nathan Fyfe failed to train and Hawthorn speedster Isaac Smith flew early, heightening AFL finals selection speculation.

The picture will start becoming clearer early on Thursday evening when the eight clubs name their lineups for week one of the finals.

But key players such as Fyfe and Smith could be given until the last minute to prove their fitness as they recover from injuries.

Fyfe (leg) has not played since the round-21 loss to North Melbourne and his absence from Wednesday training means some doubt over whether he will be ready for Saturday night’s home qualifying final against Sydney.

Smith was among six Hawks who flew to Perth on Wednesday for the Friday night qualifying final against West Coast.

While teammates such as Luke Hodge often travel early for Perth games, Smith clearly is trying to maximise his chances of recovering in time.

His knee injury last Saturday against Carlton makes him an unlikely starter and Billy Hartung, who will travel as an emergency, is his obvious replacement.

“We’re probably a 50-50 chance, so we’ll go over to Perth and give it a crack,” Smith told the Seven Network at Melbourne Airport.

Eagles pair Chris Masten and Will Schofield have hamstring injuries, also putting them in doubt for Friday night.

Sydney must replace key forward Lance Franklin, who is having time off for health issues, and co-captain Kieren Jack (knee).

Adelaide’s All-Australian defender Brodie Smith has been in a moon boot this week ahead of the elimination final on Saturday night against the Western Bulldogs.

But the Bulldogs have their own problems, with Jordan Roughead (finger) and Jason Johannisen (calf) ruled out.

North Melbourne and Richmond will name extended squads for Sunday’s MCG elimination final.

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