Dockers not banking on Sandilands return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers not banking on Sandilands return

By Justin Chadwick 10/08/2011 07:12:06 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey isn't banking on the return of Aaron Sandilands against Carlton on Saturday.

He says the unique nature of the AFL ruckman's toe injury makes it hard to predict when he will be ready to play again.

Sandilands first damaged the tendon in his left big toe in round nine before suffering a recurrence of the injury when he returned in round 14 - a setback that has sidelined him for the past six weeks.

Ninth-placed Fremantle could propel themselves back into the finals race with a win over Carlton, but Harvey seemed pessimistic about Sandilands' chances of appearing this week.

"(We) will find out at training tonight," Harvey said on Wednesday.

"We're not budgeting too much for him playing, but we'll see.

"It's just an unusual injury. I remember when I first said it, what sort of injury it was, turf toe if you remember, and no one had really heard of it.

"I think we're dealing with something in AFL that hasn't been around too much."

Harvey also hinted midfielder David Mundy (leg) was at least another week away from resuming.

"He's certainly running now, which is a real positive. But he's just pulling up sore at the moment," Harvey said.

"Once you overcome the injury, it's then the pressure you put on it at training, and whether it gets sore. That's the stage we're at with him."

The Dockers are only two points adrift of eighth-placed Essendon and seventh-placed Sydney, but face tough matches against Carlton (home), North Melbourne (away), Collingwood (home) and the Bulldogs (away) to round out the season.

Harvey hoped the lure of playing finals football for the second-straight year would inspire his charges to overcome the odds and sneak into the top eight.

"The excitement of playing last year in the two finals that we did should be in their blood and they should want to maintain or get somewhere near that sort of area again," Harvey said.

"Every game's desperate.

"This is now getting to probably an extreme challenge, so we'll wait and find out whether we can make sure we put the pressure on other clubs."

Fremantle have beaten Carlton in 12 of their past 14 meetings - a dominance that didn't escape the attention of Harvey.

"That's a real positive from our point of view, and it (Saturday's match) is over here on our own soil," he said.

"Maybe there's just a little bit of a factor of that going into this game."

Harvey had no hesitation in labelling Blues skipper Chris Judd as the best player in the competition, before adding that Chris Mayne could get the tagging job on him after a successful shutdown role on St Kilda's Brendon Goddard last week.

Ryan Crowley could also earn a recall to help quell the Blues' star-studded midfield, while ruckman Jonathon Griffin's dodgy hip will be put to the test at training this week.

Adam McPhee, who has been given the job on Judd in recent times, will miss the match through suspension.

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