McPhee a chance of Swans start
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has not ruled out handing Adam McPhee a surprise recall for Sunday’s clash with the Sydney Swans at the SCG, despite the tough utility missing the last seven games with a knee injury.
McPhee has not played at any level since tearing the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against West Coast in round eight, but Harvey said he could be recalled for the high-stakes clash against the sixth-placed Swans.
Michael Barlow is certain to return after missing two games with soreness, while young runner Nick Suban, who has been sidelined for 10 games with a broken leg, is also being considered for an instant recall.
“It will only be probably touch and maybe a little bit of match fitness as to whether we play them,” Harvey said from Fremantle Oval on Wednesday.
“Both those guys (McPhee and Suban) are really professional in the way they have done their preparation in regards to rehab.
“I remember doing the same thing with Tendai (Mzungu) after missing 10 weeks and (Garrick) Ibbotson was the same.”
Harvey conceded it would be difficult to bring McPhee and Suban back for the same match, particularly on a long road trip, and said McPhee would be ahead of Suban at this stage.
Despite a horror run of injuries, Fremantle has managed to hold its spot in the top eight, with key players set to boost the team over the next two to three weeks.
Harvey said clearance specialist David Mundy was one week ahead of schedule in his return from a significant high ankle sprain, while ruckman Aaron Sandilands could make a late bid to play in the round 19 Western Derby.
“We’ll know a lot more when he starts to run and jump. That’s when you get a better feel for the situation,” Harvey said of Sandilands, who has missed five of the last six games with turf toe.
“The best part about it this time in is he hasn’t had the moon boot on, so his leg is not withered away. Hopefully that will support it a lot more.
“Dave has got his moon boot off and we’d envisage he’ll start to run later next week as well.”
Assembling its best side will be important for Fremantle in the run to the finals, facing five teams currently above it on the ladder in the last eight rounds, as well as the building Western Bulldogs and St Kilda.
Harvey said the run home would be tough for every team as injury lists around the competition grow.
“If you discount Collingwood and say Geelong, then Hawthorn and Carlton are getting a lot of injuries themselves, and then the rest of us are in that pack, and it’s an even pack,” the coach said.
“You’re seeing the Bulldogs and St Kilda starting to launch. Momentum means a lot and confidence means a lot. It’s a fickle game and it becomes very interesting on a weekly basis what happens now.
“There’ll be pressure associated with individuals and teams along the way. It’s how you handle that.”