Heath Black's AFL future still a mystery - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Heath Black's AFL future still a mystery

By Justin Chadwick 23/07/2008 05:55:02 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle defender Heath Black's AFL future remains shrouded in mystery with the club and player no closer to finalising a settlement, while season-ending knee surgery is still on the cards for young gun Rhys Palmer.

Black, who is contracted until the end of 2009, confirmed on Perth radio on Tuesday he wanted to retire and was in talks with the club to sort out a settlement.

But there is still a chance the 192-game veteran will reverse that decision.

"Heath has advised the club he is considering his options," the club said in a statement.

"It's now up to him to make a decision."

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey said nothing had been set in stone.

"Look it's been an interesting couple of days. There's some finer details to be worked out," Harvey said.

"Heath's certainly considering what's been projected out there in the media (about retiring)."

When asked whether he would try to talk Black out of retiring, Harvey replied: "I've had a number of conversations with Heath. Heath, it would be fair to say, is his own person and he'll make his own decision."

And mystery also surrounds the immediate playing future of Palmer, who continues to train strongly despite the club revealing he is battling a cartilage problem in his knee that may require surgery.

Palmer was rested from Fremantle's win over Melbourne last Sunday but ran freely at training to put his name forward for Sunday's clash against Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

"He's got a cartilage problem and it's whether the medical people decide he needs a cartilage operation at his age ... what's best for Rhys at his age," Harvey said of the 19-year-old.

"There's a lot of players that will play under duress and Rhys is one of those players.

"There may be an opportunity that he plays this week but once again you deal with how he comes up after the game."

Defender Roger Hayden will miss another week with a hamstring injury but Des Headland, who has not played since round four after undergoing knee surgery, is likely to make his playing return this weekend via the WAFL.

And Luke Webster, who underwent the same radical knee surgery as Sydney's Nick Malceski, is also expected to return to WAFL duties after being rested as a precaution last week.

Webster, who made a successful playing return earlier this month, copped a knock to his knee at training last week but scans cleared him of any damage.

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