Scans have cleared star Fremantle midfielder David Mundy of a broken leg, but the reigning club champion could still be sidelined for up to two months with a high ankle sprain.

The injury-hit Fremantle will also be without goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne for two weeks, with the 23-year-old suffering a hamstring strain in Sunday’s 34-point win over Essendon.

Mundy, who landed awkwardly on his right leg in the first quarter of Sunday’s clash, suffered what the club described as a “significant high-ankle sprain”, and will miss between six and eight weeks.

He will not require any surgery and will wear a protective boot for the next two to three weeks, joining key Fremantle players Aaron Sandilands, Adam McPhee, Nick Suban and Anthony Morabito on the club’s lengthy injury list.

Teammate Paul Duffield said replacing the club’s leading clearance player would be a team effort, starting against Melbourne at the MCG this Sunday.

The 26-year-old spent more time in the midfield himself against Essendon as a result of Mundy’s injury, finishing with 22 possessions and four clearances.

“Certainly we had a range of players go through the midfield because of that on the weekend and I thought a lot of our guys contributed really well,” Duffield said.

“He’s our number one ball-winning midfielder, so it’s probably a responsibility that will come to myself and a couple of others to see if we can at least influence that area of the game.”

Coach Mark Harvey said on Sunday night that returning midfielder Michael Barlow would be the obvious choice to replace Mundy against Melbourne, but he needed to be able to play close to a full game.

In his first full game back from a broken leg, Barlow had 33 possessions and was best on ground for WAFL club Peel Thunder on Saturday, strengthening his case for an AFL recall.

The 23-year-old played a half for the Peel reserves one week ago in his first game back 11 months after suffering the horrific injury.

Duffield said there shouldn’t be pressure on Barlow to match the output of Mundy, who had averaged 26 possessions a game before being injured on Sunday.

“I think people understand that he’s been through a fairly significant injury in the scheme of things, and we’ve seen players not come back to be the players they were previous to that,” Duffield said.

“He’s done a mountain of work, he’s been super professional in the way he’s handled everything and that’s shown in the fact that he played so well in his second game back on the weekend after 12 months out.

“I don’t think there should be any spectator pressure on Micky. He’ll be clear on what his role is and he’ll go out and do that to the best of his ability.”

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