Jesse Hogan’s long-awaited AFL return won’t be a pretty sight after the star Fremantle forward suffered an unlucky facial injury on Friday.
Hogan was lifting weights when a barbell was dislodged and dropped on his face.
The former Demon required stitches for facial cuts.
Hogan remains in the starting 22 that has been selected to play Port Adelaide at Metricon Stadium on Sunday, and the Dockers are hopeful he won’t need to be withdrawn.
The return of Hogan was already set to be the major talking point of the match, given he had missed the past year with a serious foot injury followed by a lengthy mental health break.
Hogan will team up with Matt Taberner in what the Dockers hope will become a potent attacking force.
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir is excited to see what Hogan will produce.
But Longmuir will be shining just as much of the spotlight onto the back six following their wobbly display in last week’s 12-point loss to Brisbane.
Lions goalsneak Charlie Cameron had four goals to his name by the seven-minute mark of the second quarter, and Longmuir was not happy with how his defenders fared.
“As a back six we need to defend better,” he said.
“Charlie got a hold of us on the weekend, but I thought as a back six we didn’t work together well enough.
“We want to make sure that as a backline we defend as one. We’re not six individuals back there defending. I expect a much improved performance from our backs.”
The return of Stephen Hill from his latest quad injury will add vital experience and class to Fremantle’s defence.
His addition is timely against a potent Port forward line featuring the likes of Charlie Dixon, Robbie Gray, Steven Motlop, and Justin Westhoff.
Port thrashed Adelaide by 75 points last week, and have been further boosted by the return of Ollie Wines.
Youngster Connor Rozee has already put his hand up to perform the shutdown role on Fremantle’s two-time Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe – much to the surprise of Power coach Ken Hinkley.
“He must have been delusional,” Hinkley said.
“I’m sure he didn’t mean that. No-one would want to go head to head with Nat Fyfe, he’s a very good player.
“All our midfielders will go against all their midfielders, it’s as simple as that. It’s not player v player, it’s midfield v midfield, it’s team v team.”