Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir says bringing back star Nat Fyfe through the WAFL is the right thing to do, despite external criticism of the AFL club’s decision.
Fyfe will make his return from shoulder and back surgery in Saturday’s WAFL clash between Peel Thunder and Subiaco.
North Melbourne great Wayne Carey labelled the decision as ridiculous, saying Fyfe should be playing in Sunday’s crunch AFL clash with Brisbane at Optus Stadium instead of lining up for Peel.
“I understand the criticism that some may have of it, but we think internally we have the most knowledge of the situation,” Longmuir said.
“Fyfe knows his body better than anyone, and we’ve made this call to set him up for the second half of the year.
“It’s not just the shoulder, he’s had a back niggle, he’s got a little knee niggle that he’s had to overcome.
“Sometimes it takes a little bit of (time) to build confidence in not only your body, but your game as well.”
Longmuir said it was too hard for Fyfe to get match hardened at training during the middle of the season.
“He hasn’t played AFL footy for 10 months now,” Longmuir said.
“It’s pretty hard in season to replicate matches at training, because the players who are playing do minimal load.
“When you’re in rehab it’s hard to manufacture that game-like training. So we just think it’s a really good progression to be able to manage his minutes (in the WAFL).”
Longmuir said forward Matt Taberner, who was subbed out of last week’s win over Melbourne with a back spasm, was touch and go to face Brisbane.