Walters ready to weigh in for Freo
Michael Walters’ spell in football purgatory could be just days away from ending with the exiled Fremantle forward on the verge of being welcomed back to the club.
The Dockers lost patience with Walters in January and banished him to his WAFL club Swan Districts for failing to meet Fremantle’s training and fitness requirements.
He has spent more than 11 weeks refining his body shape and improving his fitness.
Walters is now 9kg lighter and his form with Swan Districts has been good both in the pre-season and home-and-away campaign.
The 21-year-old kicked 2.3 from 16 possessions against South Fremantle on Monday and spent time in the midfield.
He recently met with club officials to discuss his progress and a decision on whether he is allowed to return this week is expected soon. Fremantle’s leadership group is expected to be consulted about his return.
His absence from the club has cost him the chance to add to his 11 AFL games.
Josh Mellington seized upon the chance to play as the club’s small forward, kicking three goals in round one, and an opportunity arose for a smaller player to come into the team when Hayden Ballantyne was suspended for two weeks following the first round.
Walters’ return to training is unlikely to coincide with him being considered available for selection at this stage.
Meanwhile, Alex Silvagni appears destined for an extended battle in a bid to break back into Fremantle’s line-up this season despite outclassing star duo Jonathan Brown and Lance Franklin as a defender last year.
The 24-year-old Docker has spent the past fortnight playing for Claremont in attack, having trained as a forward across the pre-season.
He booted two goals for the Tigers 11 days ago, but only managed a solitary behind in their 45-point win over West Perth on Monday.
Silvagni is on the fringe in selection terms for Saturday’s clash against Brisbane at Patersons Stadium as former best-and-fairest winner David Mundy took another step towards his return from an ankle injury.
Mundy trained strongly at Fremantle Oval yesterday and will front the media this afternoon for the first time in 2012 in an indicator that he will be named to play against the Lions.
The change in roles for Silvagni under coach Ross Lyon has come despite having proven himself as an effective power defender in his first two seasons at the Dockers.