Dockers crippled by injuries - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers crippled by injuries

By Justin Chadwick 02/06/2009 09:15:22 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle will be forced to delve even deeper into their AFL playing list after confirmation key players Michael Johnson and Des Headland would miss up to three weeks through injury.

Johnson injured his ankle in the opening quarter of last week's epic loss to Richmond but bravely played on.

Headland, who missed the first eight rounds of the season as he battled a calf and Achilles tendon complaint, injured his quad and failed to re-emerge after quarter-time.

Both players have been ruled out for the next two to three weeks.

And the news could get even worse for the Dockers, with Luke McPharlin (hip) and Stephen Hill (hill) also in doubt for Saturday's clash with Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

The Dockers have already debuted five players this season and Hayden Ballantyne, who booted five goals in the WAFL last Saturday in his first match back since wrist surgery, is set to become the sixth.

The Dockers will also consider upgrading rookie Clancee Pearce to ease their injury woes after the 18-year-old defender starred with 26 touches for Swan Districts on Saturday.

Daniel Gilmore, Ryan Murphy and Clayton Hinkley are also in line for a recall.

Port Adelaide have concerns of their own after defender Chad Cornes (knee) and Matt Thomas (knee) were ruled out of action for at least four weeks.

The pair join Shaun Burgoyne on the sidelines, but Daniel Motlop (ankle) is a chance to return against the Dockers.

Fremantle defender Antoni Grover said the injuries had a silver lining.

"Every club's having their injury problems at the moment," Grover said.

"It just opens doors for other guys.

"We've got a lot young players that we want to develop and this can fast-track them hopefully.

"We've all got to stand up."

Grover said it was important to keep spirits high as the injury toll worsened.

"The guys lift each other up," he said.

"There's plenty of banter that goes around, there's plenty to laugh about.

"When these guys are injured, the guys put a smile on their face and joke around a bit."

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