Those who work, play and support the Fremantle Dockers are understandably relieved to learn that the knee injury of fun forward Michael Walters was not as severe as was initially thought.
The Dockers’ three-time leading goalkicker could be back after missing games with the Richmond Tigers and the St Kilda Saints.
Walters has knee history and has missed time on ground before, according to Fremantle high performance manager Jason Weber, who told fremantlefc.com, “With Michael’s knee, there was originally concern for his PCL which he injured last year. That hasn’t been the case. He’s injured a small ligament that supports his kneecap, so he’ll be progressed now as his symptoms warrant. We’re hoping for two to three weeks for his return.”
The Dockers were already missing Harley Bennell, who has yet to play in the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership season, but all indications are that he will be sufficiently recovered to line up soon for his first game of the year.
The Dockers’ casualty ward could almost field a side, with Walters, Griffin Logue, Lee Spurr, Sean Darcy and Hugh Dixon in various stages of rehabilitation for injuries, all of which affect some lower extremity or other.
Bradley Hill is also dealing with knee pain from a ruptured ACL he suffered in a Round two game with the Essendon Bombers. His return is uncertain. “Brad’s progressed his running to supported treadmill running and we’ll continue along that path as symptoms permit,” Weber said.
It would be helpful if the Dockers had all or at least some of those players available when they travel to MCG to play the Tigers Sunday coming. Richmond has won their past 12 matches at MCG, so even at full strength; the Dockers face a daunting task at going into hostile territory, something to which the Adelaide Crows can easily relate, given the outcome of the 2017 AFL Grand Final.