Unlucky Fremantle defender Alex Pearce is likely to need surgery on a finger and miss for two or three weeks.
Pearce has been one of the great stories of 2018, coming back from a broken leg to become one of the best key defenders in the competition.
He managed only 21 games before this season, after being taken with pick 37 of the 2013 Draft.
But the 23-year-old has strung together every game this season and kept some big name forwards quiet.
He needed some treatment on his finger during the second quarter of Fremantles three-point win over Adelaide at Optus Stadium on Sunday. And while he finished the game, coach Ross Lyon confirmed that he would be again be forced to the sidelines.
“They would have to pin it; theres a bit going on there,” he said.
“How he played it out, I dont know. They are pretty tough kids, arent they? We question the courage of the modern-day player, I dont know how we do it as often as we do, but we tend to do.
“He will go and see the appropriate surgeon. He will probably miss a couple of weeks I would think.”
The Dockers will welcome back captain Nat Fyfe from suspension for Saturdays clash with Carlton at Etihad Stadium. Aaron Sandilands will also come into contention also after missing two games with concussion.
But Michael Walters could join Pearce in missing the trip to Melbourne after he was reported for headbutting Crows backman Tom Doedee late in the fourth quarter.
While there didnt seem to be much behind the blow, match review officer Michael Christian is also likely to look at what appeared to be a punch to the stomach of Jake Kelly shortly before the report in what was a wild five seconds from the Dockers star.
“Michael knows he didnt regulate himself as much as he should have at that moment. For the most part he does. Wed like him to be a bit fiery but at the right time,” Lyon said.
With Pearces injury, veteran Michael Johnson could return from the WAFL for the match against the Blues, while Taylin Duman also likely having been a late withdrawal on Sunday.
The Dockers still have Joel Hamling in terrific form in defence and Luke Ryan is also developing nicely.
Shane Kersten has become the latest key forward to be sent back to the seconds to learn how to play as a defender and has done an important role for the Dockers in the past two weeks.
Fremantle was hoping to see Griffin Logue return to AFL ranks soon, but he injured his ankle in the WAFL on Saturday and is likely to be out of action for up to eight weeks.
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