Palmer back but Suban hits new hurdle
Nick Suban’s injury-interrupted second AFL season has continued with a new elbow injury ruling him out of Fremantle’s critical clash with Carlton at Etihad Stadium tomorrow night.
The Dockers regained one talented left-footer, Rhys Palmer, but lost another, although they are confident that Suban will be back for the match against Port Adelaide after the mid-season break.
Byron Schammer’s AFL career has again stalled, dropped from the team after just one match back against St Kilda last Sunday, although football manager Chris Bond said he was likely to earn chances if he kept working hard at Claremont.
“Obviously it is a difficult time for Scham, but he is handling it really well and we look forward to him fighting his way back,” Bond said.
Young ruckman Zac Clarke will also return to the WAFL after having just two possessions as a backup forward against the Saints.
Matt de Boer returns to the team and teenager Dylan Roberton will play his third AFL game tomorrow.
Carlton reacted to a 29-point loss against North Melbourne last Friday by making four changes.
Forward Chris Yarran returns, along with midfielder Kane Lucas, forward Lachie Henderson and defender Paul Bower. Carlton lost goal kicker Setanta O’hAilpin to a calf injury and dropped Dennis Armfield, Steven Browne and Mitch Robinson.
Suban, 20, a second-round draft pick in 2008, was one of the finds of the season for the Dockers last year when he played every game.
But he had an interrupted pre-season this year and missed five matches after being injured against Geelong in round three. Roberton, impressive in matches against Brisbane and West Coast, was called up after a 21-possession effort for East Perth against Peel last weekend.
De Boer was rested against St Kilda but gives coach Mark Harvey extra defensive options to quell Carlton’s deep midfield and running half-backs, a Blues strength Harvey acknowledged this week.
“They are a good running side, they have got a lot of availability at this stage,” he said.
“They have wiped a couple of good teams off the park and then they have been indifferent in other games, but when they are at their best they are quite dangerous and that they beat Geelong is testament to that.
“Judd is the obvious one and if you look at the Kangaroos last week, they had a number of players who played through him. We will look at those sort of things.”
The Dockers are likely to start Garrick Ibbotson on Judd after having some success with that match-up in 2009.
Adam McPhee, who tagged Lenny Hayes last week, de Boer and Ryan Crowley are other options to take on the Carlton star.