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Injury update: Pearce back within a month

High performance manager Jason Weber gives an injury update. High performance manager Jason Weber takes us through the injury update leading into Round 13 against Carlton.

Defender Alex Pearce could be back playing senior football by round 16 with the key defender requiring three weeks to recovery from surgery on a broken thumb, according to high performance manager Jason Weber.

With the upcoming bye in round 14, a three-week stint on the sidelines means Pearce may only miss two AFL games and be back for Fremantle’s trip to Darwin to face Melbourne.

“Alex has had surgery to repair his thumb,” Weber said. 

“He was tough enough to play through but unfortunately, we had to go to surgery to get it repaired. 

“Hopefully, according to the surgeon we can turn it around in three weeks.”

In a boost for Fremantle’s ruck stocks, Aaron Sandilands is on the brink of a return to AFL level while Sean Darcy could also return to playing football as soon as this weekend.

While Sandilands is a likely selection for Fremantle to face Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, Darcy is more likely to build up his game-fitness with Peel in the WAFL. 

“Aaron’s passed all his KPI’s now,” Weber said. 

“He trained strongly with our WAFL group this morning and we anticipate him being available for match committee.

“Sean’s had the unfortunate PCL injury with his knee earlier in the year but he’s worked hard in the past couple of weeks and he’s up for selection this week.”

A late withdrawal against Adelaide with back soreness, Taylin Duman is a test to return to the starting 22.

Duman’s injury occurred on his arrival to Optus Stadium to face the Crows on Sunday.

“Taylin just has a bit of disc history in his lumber spine,” Weber said.

“Coming out of the car he twisted the wrong way and unfortunately, had a bit of an incident with that.

“He’s been treated by the medical staff and we’re confident we’ll get him to a test this week.”

It was a disappointing weekend for Griffin Logue, with the defender injuring his ankle as he was building up his game fitness in the WAFL.

While there is no timeframe on the 20-year-old’s return, Weber said Logue remains likely to return to football before the end of the season. 

“Griffin’s got a swollen ankle at the moment,” Weber said.

“It was a non-contact injury. He was blasting off and defending a marking contest and his ankle gave way under the ground. 

“Medical investigations this week will give us an indication of how long that will be but he’s a great trainer and a great athlete, so we anticipate him back before the end of the season.” 

There’s positive signs from two of Fremantle’s running midfielders, with siblings Bradley Hill and Stephen Hill progressing well.

Due to a club-imposed sanction, Bradley Hill is set to return via the WAFL – which could happen as soon as the week following the bye when Peel face Swan Districts on Sunday 1 July.

“There’s very strong indications he’ll make it there,” Weber said.

“He’s training really well at the moment and we’re progressing his loads up and we’re looking forward to seeing him after the bye. 

“Stephen’s done a great job. At this stage we’re looking to get him training later this week.”

Forward Brady Grey is also a chance to return to face Swan Districts. 

“Brady trained with our WAFL group today and trained really strongly,” Weber said. 

“We’re confident with him making a statement when he comes back.”

While not on the injury list, first-year midfielder Tom North has missed the past two weeks for Peel in the WAFL.

Weber said that the 19-year-old’s progress has been hampered by some injuries sustained prior to his arrival at Fremantle and is currently building up his fitness before a return to football after the bye. 

“Tom had some unfortunate interruptions to his pre-season with injuries he brought from his last year of underage football,” Weber said.

“The decision was taken by the coaching group to give him a couple weeks to have an intensified program around his lactic tolerance and ground work ability leading into the bye so that he can come back and start to produce the sort of output we would hope to see him graduate into a senior program.

“He’s doing that at the moment and working extraordinarily hard. I think we’ll see the benefits of that post the bye.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs