Injury hits Dockers goalsneak Ballantyne - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Injury hits Dockers goalsneak Ballantyne

By Justin Chadwick 03/08/2010 08:06:50 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle's injury curse has struck again, with goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne set to miss at least three AFL games with a stress fracture in his right foot.

Ballantyne booted six goals in Sunday's 75-point win over West Coast but the Dockers only discovered the extent of damage in his foot after a review of scans taken on Monday.

The derby win proved extremely costly for Fremantle, who also lost defender Chris Tarrant for up to six weeks due to a medial ligament injury.

In a statement, Fremantle said they remain "hopeful" Ballantyne will be able to play again this season, expecting the injury to take three to four weeks to heal.

Tarrant and Ballantyne join Chris Mayne (ankle), Ryan Crowley (knee) and Alex Silvagni (groin) as key players out injured, although Rhys Palmer (shoulder) and Kepler Bradley (knee) are a chance to return in Saturday's clash with North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.

The Dockers sit just percentage adrift of fourth spot.

But with so many key players out injured, Fremantle will struggle to leapfrog either the Bulldogs or Saint Kilda to earn a double finals chance.

Ballantyne has booted 32 goals in 18 games this season to become a vital part of Fremantle's forward set-up.

His tackling in particular has become a feature of his game, as has his harassment of opposition players; the 174cm speedster caught pinching Gary Ablett and pulling the hair of Harry O'Brien.

When Ballantyne fronted the media on Monday, he was unaware of the seriousness of the injury.

"So far I haven't missed a game so I suppose it is a dream season," Ballantyne said at the time.

"I just want to play every game and keep doing my part for the team."

Ballantyne also described his fierce competitive nature.

"I hate being beaten," he said.

"If there's a ball to be won I want to put my head over it, just like all the other boys.

"I just think you don't take a backward step.

"If a big guy wants to give you a bit of rough stuff you just give it back.

"I think they enjoy stirring me up, too. It's give and receive."

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