Adam McPhee
Adam McPhee

An agitated Fremantle coach Ross Lyon stressed that he knew few details about the mysterious late withdrawal of star midfielder Nathan Fyfe ahead of Saturday's 28-point loss to Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

Lyon was visibly annoyed at repeated questions surrounding Fyfe's absence, insisting the 20-year-old rolled his ankle in his hotel room this morning and that the pair hadn't spoken at all on Saturday.

"At 10:15, I got a call (saying) he's rolled his ankle in his room," Lyon said of Fyfe, who missed the match after playing the past two games on the comeback trail from a three-month lay-off following shoulder surgery.

"I haven't spoken to Nathan except he came in with the doctor to say he's not right.

"They (club) took him to the ground, but I haven't seen him I wasn't on the bus.

"He wasn't right to play. That's all I know."

Remarkably, Lyon seemingly didn't press club medicos further about the nature of key playmaker Fyfe's injury when advised, literally hours out from the opening siren.

"I can't do more than tell you he's rolled his ankle," said Lyon.

"I haven't had a conversation with him (Fyfe).

"He did it this morning... I got to the ground, they (the club) walked him in, they said he's out.

"I said 'no worries. Lachie (Neale), you're in; (Nick) Suban, you're off the sub'.

"I haven't seen him (Fyfe). He's back at his hotel room icing.

"We were expecting that he would play. They're the facts absolute truth."

Fyfe's absence was sorely felt by the Dockers, who were smashed 44-25 in clearances and saw their five-match winning streak come to an end.

Gallant Fremantle stood toe-to-toe with the highly-rated Crows on their turf in a competitive first half, before Adelaide uncorked a 5.7 to 3.1 third term and held firm in the fourth.

Lyon confirmed Chris Mayne was substituted out due to a second-quarter head knock, but the extent of the damage is not yet known.

But the Dockers boss refused to make excuses and was bullish in his praise of the victors.

"They (Crows) are a strong contested ball, clearance kicking team," Lyon said.

"At the end of the day, their midfield got on top.

"You take care of (Scott) Thompson, but (Patrick) Dangerfield, gee whiz, he had 21 contested possessions.

"They're a potent force. That's what drives the Adelaide football team their midfield... make no mistake about it.

"We were chasing and defending from scrimmages a lot and in the end that took its toll."

Lyon believes the Dockers, hovering just outside the eight, are still very much in the mix for a finals berth, with three rounds to go.

After hosting Richmond this Saturday, Fremantle take on North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium the following Sunday in a potentially high-stakes encounter, before tackling Melbourne at Patersons Stadium in Round 23.

"I don't think you have to be a rocket scientist to realise we're alive," Lyon said. "We're 11-8 with three games to go... I think we're alive.

"We've got two games at Patersons, one in Melbourne and they're big games.

"It's really an acute part of the season. We're certainly in control of our own destiny."


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