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McPharlin 'likely' to play on, says Lyon

Costa Kastanis  September 26, 2014 11:11 AM

AFL 2014 Rd 12 - Fremantle v Adelaide

Luke McPharlin could play on in 2015.

Ross Lyon has given the biggest indication yet that All Australian defender Luke McPharlin will play on into 2015.

There has been external speculation that 32-year-old McPharlin would leave the game after an injury compromised 2014 campaign.

But Lyon said his conversations with the defender indicated he was leaning towards playing a 16th season of AFL.

“I think he’s more (than) likely,” the Freo senior coach told RSN Racing and Sport radio station.

“At the end of the day, I’ve got a really strong relationship with Luke.

“He’ll sort it out with his wife Kalinz, (and) he’s also got his pharmacy.

“I think he’s more likely than unlikely.”

Lyon said if McPharlin played on, the club would manage him better through the season.

“We’ve got faith in Alex Silvagni, so it might even be at the point where we commit to only 14 or 15 games for Luke and travel him less, not unlike Roger Merrett at the back end of his career,” he said.

“Luke’s in really good shape, (but) at the pointy end of the year in the past two years his body has fatigued and had some soft tissue (injuries).

“If we can manage that, he’ll be in good shape and we’ll be in good shape.”

McPharlin played 13 games in 2014, but did not compete after round 20 because of a calf injury.

He has played 238 games in a career that began at Hawthorn in 2000.