Fremantle coach Ross Lyon is confident skipper Nat Fyfe will be cleared to play in Sunday’s pre-season clash with West Coast in Mandurah.
Fyfe missed Monday’s 27-point loss to Collingwood after undergoing minor elbow surgery late last month.
The 27-year-old played in the AFLX competition on February 23, but the Dockers are keen to unleash him against the Eagles to give him a proper match before the season starts.
“Nathan is a very, very good chance to play,” Lyon said.
Ruckman Sean Darcy (hamstring tightness) and Reece Conca (knee) could also be available to take on the Eagles.
But ruckman Aaron Sandilands (calf), Stephen Hill (quad), and Connor Blakely (knee) are all still unavailable.
Hill will miss the first two rounds of the season, while Blakely could be sidelined for up to two more months.
No timeline has been set on Sandilands, who first injured his calf in the warm-up to the round 15 loss to Brisbane last year.
His absence means extra importance will be placed on the shoulders of Darcy.
But the recruitment of former GWS big man Rory Lobb has given the Dockers an extra ruck option.
Lobb is keen to bed down a forward role at the Dockers.
But his strong showing in the ruck against Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy on Monday proved Lobb can also be a big weapon in the ruck.
Lobb tallied 20 disposals, 20 hitouts and four clearances in a strong debut for his new club, and Lyon was impressed.
Swingman Brennan Cox also boosted his standing with three goals in attack.
With Lobb, Jesse Hogan, and Matt Taberner expected to form a three-pronged spearhead attack, it was thought Cox would have to ply his trade mostly in defence this season.
But Cox’s strong showing against Collingwood – and his improved goalkicking – could see Lyon reconsider his plans.
Fremantle won the inside 50m count 60-46 against Collingwood, but their scrappy forward entries meant Hogan struggled to get into the game.
The former Demon tallied just six disposals and was scoreless before being rested from midway through the third quarter.
Hogan, who arrived at Fremantle with a foot injury, is set to get more game time against the Eagles on Sunday.