Johnson returns straight back into team
Johnson replaces rookie defender Alex Silvagni, who has been named as an emergency along with Nick Suban and Jesse Crichton.
Fremantle senior coach Mark Harvey said Johnson was a valued member of the team because of his versatility.
“I think Michael‘s a guy that can play in different positions – he’s effectively played back, wing, forward, ruck,” he said.
The Freo coach was even open to playing the 25-year-old utility alongside ruckmen Aaron Sandilands and Kepler Bradley, who has performed admirably throughout Johnson’s absence.
Harvey said Johnson had earned his spot back in the team through the way he had applied himself since his suspension.
“He’s re-assessed his career, his lifestyle and life beyond that,” Harvey said. “He’s shy by nature and quite a bit shyer since his return.”
Harvey had no doubts Johnson would be well aware of what was expected of him this Saturday.
“He needs to contribute in the areas we need him to contribute in for the team, and he knows that,” he said.
Fremantle’s opponents, Port Adelaide, are facing a club-record seventh straight defeat in Saturday’s match, but Harvey said past form was irrelevant and that his side must be prepared for a fired up opposition.
“Every game is like that,” he said. “That’s the competition, that’s the nature of the competition, it’s unforgiving.
“They’ve had success, they’ve got a very sneaky coach who can come up with things that you don’t necessarily expect, so you plan for that.”
Harvey said team selection would be crucial against a speedy Port Adelaide side on the wide expanses of Subiaco Oval.
“You need to have a good running side and you need to have a side that has to be able to match them in the contested situations and the pressuring situations,” he said.