Fremantle will gamble on the fitness of injured ruckman Aaron Sandilands against Geelong next Friday night, with the 211cm giant set to play as a permanent forward if he fails to recover from a knock to his knee.

Sandilands spent most of Saturday’s 30-point elimination final win over Hawthorn in the forward line after a first-quarter clash of knees with Hawthorn’s Wayde Skipper.

The 27-year-old will undergo scans to determine the extent of the damage but Fremantle remains optimistic he will be ready to front up for Friday night’s semi-final against the Cats at the MCG.

Sandilands is arguably Fremantle’s most important player and Harvey said the big man could play as a forward against the Cats if he wasn’t deemed fit for ruck duties.

“If he’s in the forward line, you’ve got (Matthew) Pavlich and (Chris) Mayne and all those guys sitting around him,” Harvey said.

“It just gives you a different dimension down there at times.

“We’re sort of optimistic about it (his fitness), we tend to think he’ll be OK.

“It’s sort of a direct knock to his knee cap at this stage.

“Now if there’s any other damage we have to wait. But it’s a direct blow to his knee .

“They’re reasonably confident they can get him up next week.”

Harvey said back-up ruckman Zac Clarke would still play for East Perth in Sunday’s WAFL semi-final despite Sandilands’ condition.

Former Bomber Kepler Bradley is also a strong chance to earn a Dockers call-up against the Cats if Sandilands is unable to perform ruck duties.

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