Fremantle are confident that the injuries sustained by forwards Rory Lobb and Michael Walters will not be at the serious end of the scale after a bruising AAMI Community Series clash against West Coast at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
Fremantle fell by 10 points in the game but senior coach Justin Longmuir would have been more concerned after Rory Lobb (knee) and Michael Walters (hamstring) came off with injuries.
Longmuir said Fremantle were waiting on scans for Lobb but were hoping for the best.
‘(Rory’s) hurt his knee. We’re reasonably confident it’s not worst-case scenario but we’d probably need to have it scanned before we put anything to bed. But we are reasonably confident it’s not worst case,” Longmuir said.
“He was pretty positive. He’s holding out hope that he’s dodged a bullet, he will obviously get it scanned and have a little bit more clarity of his path forward.
“He’s an important part of our team and we’re going to miss him.”
Longmuir ruled Walters out of playing Melbourne in round one in two weeks’ time but expects his star forward to return early in the season.
“He’s done it before he said, it’s low grade but it’s still probably going to cost him round one at this stage,” Longmuir said.
Longmuir said Fremantle had options in the ruck despite the injuries to Lobb and Sean Darcy.
“We think Josh Treacy’s had a good pre-season, we’ve got three key defenders that got through the game so we might have to swing one of them. I’m reluctant to, but we’re just going to have to weigh up all our options and see what will give us the best balanced team,” Longmuir said.
“If we go in too short it’s going to put too much pressure on Matt Taberner, clearly ‘Lobby’ was our second ruck as well so we’ve got a bit of work to do on what our best team looks like without him in it.
“Sean’s touch and go… (he needs to) get through training next week. There’s a possibility he could play minutes at Peel next week so that would be a good start.”
Untried ruck Lloyd Meek's chances to debut have fired after a solid outing.
"I thought he performed really well again," Longmuir said.
"He competed really hard, tried his best to nullify Nic (Naitinui) in the ruck and gave our mids a good honest contest. I think he is firming for round one."
Longmuir said that Bailey Banfield and Alex Pearce had escaped injury after appearing sore at times during the clash.
“I’m pretty confident ‘Banners’ (Banfield) got through unscathed, he’s a bit sore and will be a bit sore but we’re pretty confident that he’ll be right,” Longmuir said.
“Alex obviously played out the game so that was good for him, he’ll grow in confidence.
“I thought his actual form took another step forward tonight as well so that was good that he can get through those physical contacts. He was sore at the time, but he responded really quickly.”