Fyfe ‘in the balance’
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says the club will take no risks with young star Nat Fyfe after he suffered a shoulder injury in Saturday’s 29-point win over the Brisbane Lions at Patersons Stadium.
Fyfe’s reconstructed left shoulder slipped out of its socket in the second quarter when he was collected by Brisbane Lions defender Matt Maguire, and he will have scans on Sunday or Monday.
Lyon said the possible outcomes for Fyfe were polar opposites – he could either play in Friday night’s clash with St Kilda or be ruled out for the season, depending on the extent of the injury.
The 21-year-old had a shoulder reconstruction at the end of last season after a series of partial dislocations through the year and he has played with the joint heavily strapped this season.
“He’s a really important resource and person at this football club, and if in the cold light of day he needs to be looked after and it means the season, we would tap him out,” Lyon said on Saturday night.
“But if he’s able to play on and there’s no long-term risk to him, we would then take that path.
“So it’s going to be what’s best for Nathan Fyfe and the football club.
“In this case we’ll send him to our doctor and the best surgeon and scanners in the state or the country. We’re quite optimistic though.”
Fyfe’s injury soured the return of key on-baller David Mundy, who started Saturday’s match as the substitute before replacing Fyfe in the second quarter.
Mundy had 13 disposals, four clearances and a goal in just over a half of football and Lyon said he would shed the green vest in Friday night’s clash with the Saints.
Michael Barlow, who has been Fremantle’s substitute in the opening two rounds, played his first full game for the season and had 25 disposals (12 contested) and six clearances.
The 24-year-old described his game as a “massive step forward” and said the team had been boosted by Mundy’s return to the midfield.
“He’s a very smooth mover,” Barlow said. “The first time he got the ball he was able to cut through and cut them up with so much composure.
“He’s only going to benefit from playing two and a bit quarters today. He was chipper after the game, so I think he’ll be asking Ross pretty dramatically to get rid of the vest.”
Lyon praised elevated rookie Clancee Pearce, who booted three goals, and said half-backs Paul Duffield (28 disposals) and Michael Johnson (25) were outstanding.
The coach accepted there would be great interest in Friday night’s clash with his old club, St Kilda, at Etihad Stadium but said both clubs had moved on from last year’s dramatic coaching change.
“The past doesn’t interest me; the next moment interests me,” he said.
“We know it’s going to be a fierce battle and I certainly know what that group is capable of. And basically they’re all there.
“They’d probably offer no excuse and we’ll offer no excuse and we’ll bring it on and see what happens.”