Michael Barlow ruled out for Dockers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Michael Barlow ruled out for Dockers

By Justin Chadwick 24/06/2011 07:24:19 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle midfielder Michael Barlow's AFL comeback has lasted just one week, with the 23-year-old forced to withdraw from Saturday night's clash with Brisbane.

Barlow made a successful return from a broken leg in last week's 89-point loss to Melbourne, tallying a team-high 25 disposals to be a rare shining light on a dark day for the Dockers.

The Victoria-born on-baller was initially named in the team to take on the Lions but was withdrawn on Friday after failing to overcome soreness.

Fremantle officials are hopeful Barlow will resume against Gold Coast on July 2.

"After such a long time out of the game at senior level it was always an option, after he resumed last week against Melbourne, to rest Michael for the Brisbane game," football operations manager Chris Bond said.

"We wanted to give Michael every chance to play, and waited until today to make a decision on whether or not he was ready."

Fremantle amended their emergency list by replacing ruckman Jon Griffin with speedster Jesse Crichton, but won't name Barlow's replacement until they lodge their team sheets on Saturday.

Barlow's withdrawal could pave the way for Roger Hayden to return after the defender's lengthy stint out with a serious foot injury.

The absence of both Barlow and fellow midfielder David Mundy (leg) will put extra onus on Stephen Hill to increase his output against the Lions at Patersons Stadium.

Hill, a dynamic talent who has proven a hit since being snared with pick No.3 in the 2008 national draft, has failed to crack the 20-possession barrier in his past nine games.

The 21-year-old admitted he still hadn't quite figured out the best way to deal with the tight attention of taggers.

"I'm still learning ways to beat it. I think I'm going OK. I still need to work on it a bit more but I'm sure I'll get there," Hill said.

Both Fremantle and Brisbane made mass changes with the Dockers boosted by the return of ruckman Aaron Sandilands, forward Kepler Bradley and defender Alex Silvagni.

Dockers midfielder Rhys Palmer and Dylan Robertson were handed recalls, while Josh Mellington was named for his debut.

Brisbane lost Josh Drummond (soreness), Mitch Clark (ankle) and Todd Banfield (hamstring) to injury, while Tom Collier and Josh Green were dropped.

In to the side came Andrew Raines, Cheynee Stiller, Jesse O'Brien, Bryce Retzlaff and Irish debutant Niall McKeever.

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