AFL 2021: Fremantle Dockers coach Justin Longmuir confident Sean Darcy will be ready for season start

Fremantle count on key pair Sean Darcy and Michael Walters to be obtainable for spherical one, although ahead Sam Sturt seems more likely to miss the start of the season as his irritating restoration from an ankle harm drags on.

The Dockers, who resumed coaching this morning following the top of Perth’s five-day lockdown, have six weeks till their season-opener towards Melbourne on the MCG.

Darcy broken the arcuate ligament in his left knee a fortnight in the past and labored out on an train machine this morning sporting a big leg brace.

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir mentioned Darcy was focusing on the AAMI Neighborhood Sequence sport towards Adelaide on March 6 as his return date.

“We’re hoping he’ll be ready for a sport towards Adelaide and that will give him a few weeks after that main into spherical one. So fairly confident he’ll be there,” Longmuir mentioned.

“We’re actually confident that that is just a bit mishap and he can return to being the sturdy participant he was on the finish of final 12 months and play a number of footy for us.”

Fremantle defender Joel Hamling sat out of match simulation today as he works his way back from injury.
Digital camera IconFremantle defender Joel Hamling sat out of match simulation in the present day as he works his means again from harm. Credit score: Trevor Collens/The Sunday Occasions

Assistant coach David Hale rucked towards Lloyd Meek in a match simulation exercise this morning to permit Rory Lobb to play ahead, in a reminder of Darcy’s structural significance.

Walters, who suffered a critical foot harm on the finish of final season, has been in cotton wool all through the summer time however joined in for a part of the match sim and Longmuir mentioned the 30-year-old was “wanting actually optimistic for spherical one”.

Defenders Griffin Logue (hamstring) and Stephen Hill (calf tightness) sat out of match sim after changing into the membership’s newest mushy tissue harm issues, whereas midfielder Darcy Tucker was nonetheless an onlooker six months on from his critical hamstring tendon harm.

Sturt, a Rising Star nominee on debut in spherical one final season, suffered an ankle harm that required follow-up surgical procedure.

The 20-year-old ahead has progressed from train machines to working, although Longmuir conceded it had been a “actually sluggish construct”.

“He’s in all probability going to be pushing it for spherical one at this stage, however he’s again working on the grass now,” he mentioned.

“He’ll look to construct into some type of coaching over the subsequent couple of weeks. We’ll ramp him up as fast as we are able to, however on the flip aspect we’ve obtained to ensure he’s sturdy and…resilient sufficient to be capable of face up to the entire season.

“We’re actually enthusiastic about what he can do, however we’ve simply obtained to ensure we’re a bit of bit cautious with him.”

Key defenders Alex Pearce and Joel Hamling each performed within the match sim as they aim comebacks after lacking all of final season with ankle accidents.

“Alex, we’ve in all probability needed to put his stepping stones into match sim a bit of bit slower than Joel, as a result of he’s missed a lot footy,” Longmuir mentioned.

“However I really feel like he’s beginning to hit the mark now. He joined in 18 on 18 final Friday and he’ll take part once more in the present day and we’ll hold ramping him up.”