Michael Barlow has been named – but his comeback from a broken leg won’t be complete until Fremantle picks its final 22 on Friday afternoon.

The 23-year-old midfielder was added to a 25-man Freo squad for Sunday’s crucial clash with Essendon at Patersons Stadium.

First-year player Josh Mellington and midfielder Clayton Hinkley were the other additions to the 22 that went down to Hawthorn at the MCG last Sunday.

Freo senior coach Mark Harvey has already indicated that if Barlow plays, it will most likely be as a sub.

Barlow returned to competitive action for Peel Thunder’s WAFL reserves last Saturday and showed he was on track for an AFL return with 15 possessions in a half of footy.

That was his first game since he broke his left leg at Patersons Stadium on Saturday 3 July, 2010.

Harvey said this week’s opponents Essendon, much like his side, had been slowed by injuries after a fast start to the year.

“No matter which way you look at this competition, you come back to the field quite quickly,” he said about the curse of injury.

But Harvey said the Bombers would add a different dimension to their side this week with the inclusion of captain Jobe Watson and young utility Michael Hurley.

“To get their captain back in the side is important to them and Hurley is an up and coming young player that can play forward and back,” he said.

Fremantle sits eighth on the AFL ladder, half a game behind the seventh-placed Bombers.

Harvey said he expected to be fighting with his old club for a finals spot for the rest of the season, making the importance of winning Sunday’s game paramount.

“There’s half a game between us, it’ll be interesting,” he said.
“There’s a lot of pressure on because of that situation.

“There’s not a lot between fifth and 12th for that matter. That’s how it’s going to be for the rest of the year.”

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