Fremantle’s hamstrung captain Nat Fyfe will undergo a fitness test on Thursday as he seeks to prove he is ready for Sunday’s AFL derby.
Fyfe returned from a hamstring injury in the Dockers’ last-start win over St Kilda, remarkably missing just one game.
The reigning Brownlow medallist, whose team have returned home from their Gold Coast hub and are now preparing to face West Coast in Perth, admits the muscle hasn’t pulled up as well as he would have liked.
“That’s not uncommon with hamstrings,” Fyfe told reporters.
“Pretty confident (of playing this weekend) but there’s always a chance with these things, they could go either way.
“I will do everything I can to be available for selection.
“We’ve just got to wait and see how it responds and pulls up. Because I’ve previously done a hamstring injury on this side, we’re a little more cautious than we’d otherwise be.”
COVID-19 training restrictions will complicate the club’s call as to whether their most important player is right to play.
“We’re a bit compromised with how much training we can do,” Fyfe said.
“It’s a reduced season and reduced game time. All these factors will be considered.”
The gun midfielder revealed Dockers ruckman Sean Darcy is free of concussion symptoms and should be available for selection.
Fyfe was stationed in the forward line during the second half of Fremantle’s clash with the Saints, during which coach Justin Longmuir successfully shuffled his magnets and orchestrated an epic comeback after Darcy was cleaned up Ben Long.
Fyfe, whose marking prowess is one of many strengths, suggested it shouldn’t be a surprise if he spends more time as a forward in 2020.
“Rory Lobb, Matt Taberner and Jesse Hogan have been giving us some great structure, but with a couple of those guys shifting positions, I think I add another element down there,” he said.
“That’ll be something that JL (Longmuir) and I will work to get the balance right with.”
The Dockers and Eagles both spent the past five rounds in lockdown at the Royal Pines Resort.
Fyfe admitted the unique preparation will make Sunday’s derby a touch unusual, but added “it’ll be on” come the opening bounce and the rivals will relish a chance to play in front of 30,000 fans at home.
“There were a lot of hallway conversations, the lift opening and West Coast players walking in,” he said.
“Pretty close confines for five weeks, it meant there was a level of familiarity.”