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Freo will wait on key duo

Sportal August 16, 2012, 4:00 pm
Aaron Sandilands

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Fremantle coach Ross Lyon will name Aaron Sandilands and Nat Fyfe for Saturday's crunch clash with Richmond, but will not make a final decision on their selection until closer to game time.

Fyfe injured his ankle when he tripped on luggage in the team hotel before the Dockers' match against Adelaide last week, while Sandilands has been out since Round 11 when he re-injured his troublesome toe.

Lyon said both players would be named in his squad should they complete Thursday's training session, but added it would not necessarily mean they would line up against the Tigers at Patersons Stadium.

"(Sandilands) will fully train and (Fyfe) we're really confident with him," he said.

"We'll just continue to progress him (Fyfe) and give him every chance.

"We think they'll play but regardless of what happens today we'll probably name both and then let it unfold and make some final decisions probably."

The Dockers midfield's clearance work has been improved without Sandilands and Lyon did not rule out a possible return through the WAFL, but admitted it was unlikely.

"I think we're going to train him a fair bit forward today," Lyon said.

"He's something unique and pretty hard to deal with. Particularly with the rules with defenders taking arms and holding, so that's a potential opportunity for us.

"Jon Griffin has been fantastic for us in the ruck with help from Kepler Bradley and Zac Clarke when he is played.

"It's been a pretty good model for us and so we're trying to get our head around what are the opportunities if we pick (Sandilands), which we'll probably name him anyway. That's maybe another dimension up forward."

Fyfe had already missed 12 games in 2012 after a shoulder injury required surgery and will have scans on his ankle before a decision is made on his availability.

In a boost for the Dockers, key defender Luke McPharlin will return from his one-match ban for rough conduct.

Chris Mayne will face a fitness test after he suffered concussion last week in a heavy collision.

Fremantle will attempt to keep touch with or possibly move into the top-eight with a win over Richmond while the Tigers, who sit in 11th place with nine wins, remain a mathematical - but highly unlikely finals hope.

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