AFL 2021: Sean Darcy, Michael Walters on track for Fremantle Dockers in round one, but Sam Sturt’s in doubt

Fremantle anticipate key pair Sean Darcy and Michael Walters to be obtainable for round one, although ahead Sam Sturt seems prone to miss the beginning of the season as his irritating restoration from an ankle damage 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 in opposition to 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 carrying a big leg brace.

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir mentioned Darcy was concentrating on the AAMI Neighborhood Collection recreation in opposition to Adelaide on March 6 as his return date.

“We’re hoping he’ll be prepared for a recreation in opposition to Adelaide and that may give him a few weeks after that main into round one. So fairly assured he’ll be there,” Longmuir mentioned.

“We’re actually assured 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 as we speak as he works his manner again from damage. Credit score: Trevor Collens/The Sunday Instances

Assistant coach David Hale rucked in opposition to 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 damage on the finish of final season, has been in cotton wool all through the summer season but joined in for a part of the match sim and Longmuir mentioned the 30-year-old was “wanting actually constructive for round one”.

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

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

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

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

“He’ll look to construct into some type of coaching over the following couple of weeks. We’ll ramp him up as fast as we are able to, but on the flip facet we’ve obtained to ensure he’s sturdy and…resilient sufficient to have the ability to stand up to the entire season.

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

Key defenders Alex Pearce and Joel Hamling each performed in 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 somewhat bit slower than Joel, as a result of he’s missed a lot footy,” Longmuir mentioned.

“But I really feel like he’s beginning to hit the mark now. He joined in 18 on 18 final Friday and he’ll be part of in once more as we speak and we’ll preserve ramping him up.”