Fremantle forward Matt Taberner remains on track to play two pre-season games ahead of round one despite picking up a minor quad injury at training.
Senior coach Justin Longmuir told 6PR the key forward would miss approximately two weeks of pre-season training but is likely to play a scrimmage against West Coast as well as Fremantle’s AAMI Community Series game against Adelaide at Fremantle Oval on Saturday 6 March.
“He had a little bit of a reoccurrence of that quad injury that he had at the end of last year. It’s nothing too significant, he’ll miss a couple of weeks,” Longmuir told 6PR.
“We expect him to play in the pre-season.
“He’s back and ramping up his running already. It’s pretty minor in the big scheme and we’ll get some pre-season games into him before round one and he’ll be right to go.”
Ruckman Sean Darcy is also set to play in the AAMI Community Series after wearing a brace for approximately three weeks due to a minor knee injury.
“Sean came out of the brace yesterday and he’s progressing really well and, like I’ve said all along, he’ll be up for some footy before we get into round one,” Longmuir said.
“I’m pretty sure he’ll be right for the Adelaide game as he starts running and picking up his work loads.”
Longmuir said Fremantle were being conservative with Sam Sturt (ankle) and Stephen Hill (calf).
“Sam Sturt is progressing really well…with young players like him, we want to be really careful and make sure that when they come back, they’ll be resilient and play a large chunk of the year. We’re confident on the path he’s at,” Longmuir said.
“With Hilly…we’re pretty confident we’re on top of it and on the path to getting him back out there.
“It’s similar to what he went through at the start of last year. We’re following a slightly different program to make sure we don’t keep following the same path and keep getting recurrences.
“It will be a little bit of time to build up strength and get him back out there and get some game time into him.”
Longmuir said star defensive duo Joel Hamling and Alex Pearce remain on track for round one.
“I’ve been really impressed with the way both of them have attacked the match sim that they’ve played so far this pre-season,” Longmuir siad.
“I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping we can get them to round one.
“Everything they’ve done so far has been really positive and we’ll continue to build them through that match sim and build them through the pre-season. Everything’s tracking pretty well at this stage.”