Fremantle forward Michael Walters will try to prove his suitability to return against Port Adelaide on Sunday when the Dockers train on Thursday morning.
Walters impressed with 22 goals in the season, scoring two goals in his last appearance against Hawthorn in Round 13, before missing Saturday’s loss to Carlton with a calf injury.
Walters, 31, kicked an equal career-high sack of six goals against the Power in Round 13, 2019 – the last time the Dockers defeated the Port Adelaide.
Finding the right mix in midfield will be the main concern for Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir as he looks for his first win over the Power as a coach, having dominated 14-5 at center in a loss to 31 points against the Blues.
Captain Nat Fyfe was held on 11 divestments and won no center clearance after being used in 10 center collisions. The double Brownlow medalist also went scoreless and had no scoring involvement as he works his way back to full fitness after long-term back and shoulder problems.
Young shooter Caleb Serong was confident the new midfield mix would work.
“If we get that continuity with Nat, it’s going to be really exciting,” Serong told SportFM.
“We knew it would take a few weeks and Nat knew it would take a few weeks to get rid of the rust and cobwebs.
“Over the weekend it was a disappointing result. Nat would be disappointed in his game and we were all more or less disappointed in our individual matches and also in the collective.”
The strength can be boosted by a series of inclusions, despite the loss of defender Riley Bonner (broken cheekbone). Port will get Tom Clurey and Darcy Byrne-Jones back from the COVID protocols, while Zak Butters, Robbie Gray and Orazio Fantasia are all pushing for a return.
Fremantle defender Luke Ryan and Port Adelaide defender Aliir Aliir are each playing their 100th games.
Aliir was called up from East Fremantle to Sydney, where he played 64 games before being traded to the Power for the 2021 season.
“The move to Port Adelaide has brought the best out of me,” said Aliir.
“I love being in a new environment. The culture here is incredible. Reaching 100 is a great privilege. I am still grateful for what Sydney was able to do for me. The same goes for Port Adelaide.
“I feel my best football is as a defender – intercepting that defender and locking up defender.”