Senior coach Justin Longmuir has declared Matt Taberner fit to play football this weekend, however the key forward’s selection against Sydney for Sunday’s game at Metricon Stadium is still not guaranteed.
He added that Rory Lobb would miss due to an ankle injury while Sean Darcy (knee) would be declared fit to play if he gets through Thursday’s training session.
Taberner has played just one game since Fremantle last faced Sydney in round 10, missing time with an ankle and calf injury on either side of his round 15 appearance against Collingwood.
Longmuir said the question was around Taberner’s touch after having limited playing and training time in the past two months.
“He’s fit and he’ll play at some level this week. He’s had an interrupted, probably the last eight weeks. Against Sydney in round 10, he hurt his ankle and he’s been interrupted since,” Longmuir said.
“He would be a good replacement for ‘Lobby’, who will miss this week, so hopefully he’s in a good frame of mind and feels confident. We’ll have to have a chat after training about that decision.
“He is a chance (to play for Peel). We just need to weigh up what’s best for his game and our game.
“A little bit of that based on how confident he feels, not his body as his body should be right to go if he gets through training, it’s more on his craft and how confident he is to get out there and mix it with a really good side.”
Longmuir said both Nat Fyfe (shoulder) and Darcy were set to face Sydney despite their injury concerns in round 18 against Geelong.
“Nat’s good, we’ll have had a 10-day break by the time we play. That extra time’s been good for him. He’s responded really well,” Longmuir said.
“Sean will have to get through training but we’re pretty positive on Sean. It’s not as bad we maybe thought, so he’s had a good result.”
Longmuir confirmed that Stephen Hill (hamstring) would make his return via the WAFL for Peel after he was withdrawn from the Thunder side last week as a precaution.
“It was more precautionary than an injury setback,” Longmuir said.
“We just don’t want to take any risks but he’ll play at Peel this week as long as he gets through training.”