Dockers to delay Morabito comeback
Anthony Morabito’s long-awaited return from a knee reconstruction is set to remain on hold for another week with the Fremantle youngster unlikely to be released to play for Peel on Saturday.
Morabito’s comeback has taken longer than expected since he injured the knee in December 2010.
A quad injury last month pushed his return date back and he is now likely to return against Perth on Saturday week.
The Dockers will today decide which players should be selected for their WAFL clubs for this weekend, with the rest of the team to either take part in a match simulation session or rest in preparation for round one.
Several Fremantle players have battled injury-interrupted pre-seasons and would benefit from a WAFL match before the start of the AFL season. Garrick Ibbotson played 1 1/2 games during the NAB Cup and yesterday admitted it wasn’t an ideal preparation.
But with his WAFL club, East Fremantle, having a bye this week, Ibbotson has to either play WAFL reserves for another team or have an extra training session.
“I haven’t played as much as I would have liked,” Ibbotson said.
“I came off a shoulder operation last year and was a little bit slow into the pre-season, but I have done a lot of running. That’s important for fitness and my own confidence going into games. I am confident I will hopefully play some footy this weekend either here or in the WAFL. I’m not 100 per cent sure.
“If not, I think I’ll train here over the weekend and get some kilometres in my legs with a few of the other guys.
“There should be a few of us. Hopefully about 10 so we can a bit out of it.”
The Dockers will play Geelong at Patersons Stadium Saturday week in what looms as a physical game, but Ibbotson was confident his shoulder could handle the tackling required in that game.
He is likely to spend more time in the midfield in 2012 as David Mundy is eased back into games and Matthew Pavlich spends more time close to goal.
Pavlich was named as the AFLPA vice-president on Monday night, adding to a busy workload that already includes being on the AFL laws of the game committee and Fremantle’s captain.
Ibbotson said the players knew they had to ease the burden on Pavlich, but didn’t think it would affect his football.
“He handles it as well as I’ve ever seen,” Ibbotson said.
“He does, every now and then, probably tongue in cheek a little bit, say that we need to help him out a bit because he’s doing so much work.
“He can definitely handle it, but we will be helping him out.”