Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe to have surgery
FREMANTLE has suffered a blow less than a month out from the start of the AFL season with superstar captain Nat Fyfe to undergo surgery on an injured elbow.
Fyfe led the Flyers in Friday night's AFLX tournament at Marvel Stadium and wore a protective "sleeve" over his right elbow.
On Saturday, Dockers footy boss Peter Bell said the champion midfielder would require a minor procedure, which the club hoped would not seriously impede his preparation for round one.
News of the injury - which Bell said was an inflamed bursa - came after the Freo star aggravated the injury earlier this month.
"The plan at the moment is that he'll go in for a small procedure that might require a one-night stay," Bell told Perth radio station 6PR.
"You don't make a decision to send someone off for surgery flippantly, but he got a knock on it a couple of weeks ago and it did swell up.
"He said it was really painful and when Nat Fyfe says something's painful ... he's the guy that played with a broken leg for a game a few years ago for a quarter or so and performed really well, so he's obviously got a really high pain threshold.
"He said it was painful, so you run the risk of it happening during the season proper and he misses a game or do you just decide, 'No, let's go and have the procedure and get it done?'''
"At the same time we wanted to have a bit of time to think about that and see how it settles down because again, you don't want to send players off for surgery unless it's absolutely necessary."
Bell said Freo didn't think the surgery would mean a long lay-off for the Dockers' best player.
"I wouldn't think it would be getting into the weeks," Bell said.
"I think he would be back into full training really, really quickly and then we'll just manage with how he comes through that whether he's (ready for) JLT1 or JLT2, we're confident he'll be playing a major part in the preseason games."
HOGAN IN GOOD TOUCH
Boom Fremantle recruit Jesse Hogan could be given some stints in the midfield this season after putting in a strong display in Friday's intra-club hitout.
Hogan, in his first game since suffering a serious foot injury while at Melbourne last season, booted two goals and spent time in the midfield on Friday.
"It was good for him just to be part of a team. I'm sure he would have been nervous playing for a new club," assistant coach Anthony Rock said.
"To get him into the midfield, he did a little bit of centre bounce work with Michael Walters and I thought that worked pretty well.
"I'm sure we'll see him there at some stage throughout the year.
"I think you spend a little less energy, it's more contested efforts in the midfield rather than being a key forward that's got to run up and down."
Ruckman Sean Darcy came off in the final term to ice his left hamstring. But Rock played down any concerns.
"That's precautionary. He's fine. Got through it," Rock said.
"We thought he played really well, particularly in those first three quarters.
"He got his hands to the ball and gave the mids first use."
Fremantle's first pre-season match is against Collingwood in Joondalup on March 4.