Dockers face extreme injury woes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers face extreme injury woes

Justin Chadwick 18/05/2011 08:10:25 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey admits his team's injury woes have hit an extreme level, but says the AFL club is not in crisis just yet.

The Dockers have 14 players on their injury list and a realistic squad of just 25 players to choose from for Saturday's clash with lowly Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

Fremantle have lost their past two matches to slip to eighth on the table but Harvey refused to use the lengthy injury list as an excuse.

"(It's) probably got to the stage where it's probably the most extreme," Harvey said of the club's injuries on Wednesday.

"But most of our older players and better players are still right.

"So hopefully that holds us in good stead.

"Injury isn't a reason for losing.

"(I don't see it) as a crisis, no.

"I mean we're 4-3.

"The competition's tight.

"I think the issue for us going forward is that most of the guys that are out are out for substantial weeks.

"That's the problem.

"If we get more (injuries) in the next couple of weeks, well maybe that time (it will be a crisis)."

The injury curse has benefited one player at least, with Harvey conceding he couldn't afford to drop out-of-form defender Michael Johnson due to a lack of replacements.

"He needs to find some form, there's no question," Harvey said.

"But we're not in a situation where we can afford to drop those players."

Harvey said goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne (hamstring) was still no certainty to return despite missing last week's derby loss to West Coast.

"It's an unusual type of hamstring. It's more fibre related. Once again we'll see how he goes tonight (at training)," Harvey said.

But midfielder Rhys Palmer is almost certain to earn a recall after starring in the WAFL last weekend.

And Harvey said he would weigh up whether to bring in Tendai Mzungu for his AFL debut, despite the mature-age defender having not played a game since injuring his knee in a pre-season hit-out against West Coast.

"He had a really good practice game series but what does that count for?" Harvey pondered.

"At least it's given us the indication that he's somewhere near the level.

"It is a massive punt (if we play him) but a little bit of that is forced."

Harvey will also consider bringing in former Adelaide big man Jonathon Griffin for his Dockers debut in order to ease the burden on ruckman Aaron Sandilands.

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