Taz only downside to derby triumph
FREMANTLE looks set to lose Chris Tarrant for the final month of the season after the star full-back suffered a suspected medial ligament injury in Fremantle’s 75-point western derby win on Sunday.
Tarrant, who had missed Fremantle’s past five matches with an ankle injury, clashed with West Coast’s Andrew Embley late in the first quarter at Subiaco Oval, with his left knee tangled up in the collision.
He walked to the rooms unaided and coach Mark Harvey said the star full-back was likely to miss the run to Fremantle’s first finals series since 2006.
“[It’s] probably a medial ligament at this stage,” Harvey said after the win, Fremantle seventh consecutive – and most convincing – derby triumph over West Coast.
“We’d like to think it was probably three or four weeks but we’ll wait for the full diagnosis in the morning.
“It depends on the grading of it; it can either be one, two or three.
“He’s upbeat. Naturally he just wants to be part of the team the way they’re winning at the moment.”
The 29-year-old faces the prospect of being sidelined during September if his injury is declared anything more than minor. Teammate Luke McPharlin missed seven matches with a medial ligament injury earlier this season.
Tarrant returned from an ankle injury to face West Coast without a stint in the WAFL and Harvey said he could slot straight back into the side again if the opportunity presents before or during September’s finals campaign.
“He’s a player that comes up quite quickly so he doesn’t need a lot of game time,” Harvey said.
“Even today you saw he’d been out for that period of time but it didn’t look like he’d been out.”
Tarrant’s injury was the only low point of a triumphant day for Fremantle, with the side’s young players leading the way in the 32nd western derby.
Harvey said his least experienced campaigners needed to be acknowledged for their work in the contested situations.
Greg Broughton (13 contested possessions), Nat Fyfe (11) and Matt de Boer (10) led the way in Fremantle’s 12th and biggest win of the season.
Harvey said despite confirming its place in this year’s final series, the side would not talk about September football until after round 22.
“You tell me the reason why you’d need to talk about it a month out,” he said.
“The leadership group have been really strong on not talking about that, and so has the coaching staff and for that matter so has the club.
“All we’re doing is trying to put ourselves in a position and the more we win from here on in the better position it’s going to be.
“Whatever that is at the end of the day, it’s something we didn’t expect.
“If you look at the other interstate clubs, I think the next closest is Sydney on nine wins, so up until this stage we’ve had an exciting season.”
Harvey said midfielder Rhys Palmer would return next week, while Chris Mayne was a possible inclusion against North Melbourne.