A trio of forwards will push for selection to bolster Fremantle in attack in Sunday’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round clash with Collingwood at Optus Stadium.
Executive General Manager of Football Peter Bell said Sam Switkowski, Matt Taberner and Michael Walters were all listed as a test to return to the Fremantle line-up.
There are positive signs for Switkowski, who missed Freo’s clash with Gold Coast at the weekend after sustaining a significant head knock against North Melbourne in round eight.
The availability of Switkowski and Taberner (hamstring) will be assessed after Thursday’s main training, while Walters is a chance to return after missing a week due to entering the AFL’s health and safety protocols
“The early signs are really good and we have main training to come on Thursday, but we’re really confident that he (Switkowski) will be available,” Bell said.
“He (Taberner) is tracking really well, but we want to see how he comes through main training on Thursday.”
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Alex Pearce came from the ground late in Sunday’s clash with the Suns before ice was applied to the defender’s ankle.
“He jagged his ankle which he’s done a couple of times this year,” Bell said.
“It really depends on how it pulls up post-match and the early signs are pretty positive.
“He’ll be really slow in the early part of the week and then we’ll see what we’re dealing with in the later part of the week before we make a decision.”
Nathan O’Driscoll will spend some time on the sidelines in a moonboot, with Bell hopeful that the winger will feature later in the season.
“He has a stress fracture in his foot which we feel like we’ve got reasonably early, but he is going to be out for a period of time,” Bell said.
“He will start running soon, but at the moment he’s spending a bit of time in a boot just to get off the foot as much as possible.
“Hopefully, we’ll see him back later in the season.”
First-year midfielder Matthew Johnson is expected to play for Peel Thunder in the WAFL competition this weekend for this first time this season.
Bell said it was an exciting development for the 19-year-old, while skipper Nat Fyfe is also expected to receive a return to play date next week.
“It’s really exciting, he (Johnson) would have been available for last weekend’s fixture, but with a WAFL bye that wasn’t to be the case,” Bell said.
“I think it will give everyone a bit of a boost to see ‘Johnno’ out there for his first game on the weekend.
“Nat is tracking really well. He’s put together another good week and hopefully, we’ll be in a position to put a return to play timeline out there publicly this time next week.”
Alex Pearce (ankle) – test
Matt Taberner (hamstring) – test
Sam Switkowski (concussion) – test
Joel Hamling (knee) – test
Nathan O’Driscoll (foot) - TBA
Nat Fyfe (back) – TBA