Dockers' injury curse worsens - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers' injury curse worsens

By Justin Chadwick 21/08/2008 06:39:36 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle will be forced to limp through the last fortnight of the AFL season after another two players fell victim to the club's injury curse.

Defender Antoni Grover underwent shoulder surgery on Thursday and will miss the final two games of the season, while 20-year-old defender Brock O'Brien could also go under the knife in the coming days after injuring his wrist in the WAFL last week.

Grover, who has been one of Fremantle's best this season, is expected to take up to 12 weeks to recover from the surgery.

The 28-year-old joins Chris Tarrant (shoulder), Luke Webster (knee), Daniel Gilmore (head), Paul Hasleby (knee), Robert Warnock (shoulder) and Andrew Foster (back) on the list of those who have had their season cut short, while Dean Solomon (suspension) is ineligible to play again in 2008.

Combine those outs with the mid-season retirements of Peter Bell, Shaun McManus, Heath Black and Matthew Carr and it's slim pickings at the selection table for Fremantle.

Meanwhile, Fremantle assistant coach Chris Scott said the Dockers have prepared themselves for a ground assault when they confront Richmond at the MCG on Saturday.

The Dockers were run off their feet when the teams last met in round four at Subiaco Oval, with the Tigers' speedsters inspiring Richmond to a thumping 64-point victory.

Scott admitted Richmond's pace was "a little bit of an issue" but said Fremantle had worked on plans to nullify the Tigers' fleet-footed runners.

"They have a lot of agile, small players with real pace," Scott said.

"It's a matter of using our strengths to our advantage and making sure we try to limit theirs.

"There's definitely an element of not allowing them just to walk out of stoppages ... we've got to keep a lot of pressure on them there.

"We've worked really hard on our stoppage set-ups and we've seen some improvement there but in terms of the stoppages themselves, obviously you are trying to win them but if you lose them you are trying to make them as pressured as possible.

"That was one of the areas where they really cut us up last time."

Fremantle have been boosted by the return of midfielder Des Headland, who has played three WAFL reserve games and one in the seniors since recovering from serious knee surgery.

Coincidentally, Headland's last game for the Dockers was that round four debacle against the Tigers.

"He's really excited," Scott said of Headland.

"He'll be a little bit nervous, which is good because it brings some freshness, some new enthusiasm to the side and obviously we all know when Des gets the ball in his hands he's very valuable."

Josh Carr also returns to the side after recovering from a groin injury, with Grover and Andrew Browne (cork) the two to make way.

The Tigers have made just one change, bringing back midfielder Nathan Foley for Dean Polo.

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