SKIPPER Matthew Pavlich is almost certain to sign again with Fremantle, but questions remain about injured backman Chris Tarrant.

Tarrant, who was sought by Carlton after last season, was placed on the club’s injury list yesterday and will miss up to six weeks with a medial ligament injury.

It’s possible, after four years, he has played his last game for the club.

The Dockers full-back was keen to return to Victoria with his property developer wife last year, but the Dockers refused to baulk because he had a year to run on a contract.

Although Tarrant has no issue with the Dockers, the lure of home is strong, especially with his partner.

While the Blues will again consider Tarrant, his former club Collingwood also will be linked to the out-of-contract defender.

As Simon Prestigiacomo nears the end of his career, Tarrant, 30 in September and a favourite of Magpies coach Mick Malthouse, would be a suitable replacement at full-back.

Tarrant’s manager, Paul Connors, said yesterday: “Chris’s focus will be to get over his injury and we’ll review his contract at the end of the year.”

Pavlich was the subject of radio speculation at the weekend that there had not been discussions between him and the club.

It’s likely he will sign a long-term deal, as long as four years,.

His manager Dan Richardson, of ESP, yesterday said he had started negotiations, but he was reluctant to comment further.

The message is that Dockers fans don’t have anything to worry about.

The five-time best-and-fairest winner recently signed a multi-year deal with the West Australian home loans company, and is more than comfortable with the development of the team under coach Mark Harvey.

“Brad Lloyd (Dockers player manager) and I have had some discussions and they are on-going,” Richardson said yesterday.

It’s understood several interested Melbourne clubs don’t expect Pavlich to be available.

It’s not unusual for Pavlich, one of the league’s highest-paid players, to put off serious negotiations until the end of the season.

Pavlich turns 29 on December 31.

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