Dockers defend their decision to play Fyfe

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir has defended the club’s handling of Nat Fyfe’s hamstring injury, saying he doesn’t regret playing the Brownlow medallist last week.

Fyfe missed just one game with a hamstring injury before fronting up against the Saints last Saturday.

The 28-year-old felt his hamstring tighten up during the game and spent the entire second half playing as a forward.

He was cleared of any injury while doing strength tests on Monday, but a scan after he pulled up sore from training on Tuesday showed he had a strain.

Fyfe is now expected to miss several weeks, starting with Sunday’s western derby clash with West Coast at Optus Stadium.

Questions have been asked as to why Fyfe was allowed to return against St Kilda after such a short recovery time.

Longmuir is adamant Fyfe was 100 per cent fit to take on St Kilda and denies the club got it wrong.

“It’s not unusual for players to play after one week with a hammy,” Longmuir said.

“It’s happened a lot in our history, it’s happening a lot around the AFL at the moment.

“Just to give you some understanding around Nathan’s hammy, he was passed fit to play (against St Kilda on) Tuesday after his rehab session where he ticked all the protocols that we assessed hammies with.

“That gave him a full week of training going into the game. It’s unfortunate that he’s re-injured a hammy and has another hamstring injury.

“There’s a lot of one-week hamstrings across the comp at the moment, so no I don’t think it was a mistake.

“It’s unfortunate and we wish he didn’t re-injure his hammy, but I wouldn’t take it back.”

Fyfe’s setback adds further pressure on Fremantle’s injury-hit list.

Defenders Griffin Logue (turf toe) and Hayden Young (ankle surgery) also got injured last week and won’t return until the tail-end of the season.

They join Alex Pearce (ankle) and Joel Hamling (ankle) on the long-term injury list, while forward Jesse Hogan is currently nursing a calf tear.

Dockers defender Brennan Cox will return from a hip injury against the Eagles, while Longmuir expects ruckman Sean Darcy to play despite being concussed last week.

Fremantle currently have nine players on their injury list and Longmuir said the club was continually reviewing their protocols to see if there was anything they needed to fix.

“Clearly we’d like a fitter list to choose from,” Longmuir said.

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