Fremantle are optimistic that key defender Alex Pearce will return to face Brisbane on Sunday at Optus Stadium, while there is a chance that Brennan Cox’s season may not be over, according to executive general manager of football Peter Bell.
Pearce has missed a week of football under the AFL’s concussion protocols following the Lance Franklin tackle against Sydney, while it was feared Cox’s season was over after sustaining the hamstring tendon injury against the Western Bulldogs in round 12.
In the round 20 Envision Medical Imaging injury update, Bell had positive news for the backline duo.
“We’re optimistic about Alex, he’s fulfilled everything that he needs to so far with the concussion protocols,” Bell said.
“He has a few more boxes to tick but we’re really hopeful and positive that he’ll be available against Brisbane.
“Brennan’s attacked his reconditioning really professionally. He’s a little in front of where we thought he would be, so we haven’t put a line through him for the season as yet.
“We just want to keep our options open and Brennan is pressuring everyone to try and get back in time to play some more footy this season, so we’ve left that door open.”
Bell also gave a positive update on Bailey Banfield, who sustained what appeared to be a serious injury against Richmond. The forward is tracking to miss just one game under the AFL’s concussion protocols.
“Bailey had that nasty incident against the Tigers and we’re pleased to report that, at the moment, he’s ticking all the boxes to be available for the RAC Derby but he’ll obviously miss this weekend against Brisbane,” Bell said.
Fellow small forward Sam Switkowski is also a chance to be available to face West Coast in a fortnight.
“Sam is tracking well. I haven’t had eyes on him for a while as he’s in our non-quarantine group currently but he’s training really well and we think that he should be available for the RAC Derby,” Bell said.
Round 20 injury list
Alex Pearce (concussion) – Test
Bailey Banfield (concussion) – 1 week
Sam Switkowski (hamstring) – 1 week
Michael Frederick (ankle) – 3-4 weeks
Michael Walters (hamstring) – 4-5 weeks
Brennan Cox (hamstring) – TBA
Stephen Hill (hamstring) - TBA
Nat Fyfe (shoulder) – Season
Heath Chapman (shoulder) – Season
Sam Sturt (knee) – Season
Joel Hamling (ankle) – Season
Rory Lobb (ankle) - Season