Aggressive rehab pays off for Switkowski

·2-min read

Fremantle forward Sam Switkowski has paid tribute to the club's medical team for helping implement a more aggressive and riskier plan to help him recover from a back fracture.

Switkowski missed the entire 2020 campaign with a back fracture, and his 2022 campaign looked over when he was struck down by the same injury following the round-13 win over Hawthorn.

The 25-year-old's frenetic pressure up forward had played a key role in the club's stunning start to the season, and the Dockers were keen to get him back in time for finals.

Switkowski was also desperate to play again in 2022, and agreed to try to push the boundaries as much as possible.

Fremantle's high performance manager Phil Merriman, senior physiotherapist Marshall Stockden and physio James Grierson were among the group who compiled a plan to get Switkowski fit again sooner.

Switkowski was able to return in round 22, and his pressure was crucial in the Dockers' 13-point elimination final win over the Western Bulldogs.

"We took a bit of a different strategy this time around with the injury, and it's paying off so far," Switkowski said on Monday.

"We took more of an aggressive mindset in training and reloading the back, and a few risks that come with that. But it seems to have handled it really well.

"I reflected on my experiences from 2020 when I missed the whole season.

"We just decided with finals on the line and where I'm at in my career that we wanted to take that risk and get back and play.

"I'm just super proud and really thankful and grateful to our medical team to get me back."

Switkowski will get his second taste of finals action when he lines up in Saturday night's semi-final showdown against Collingwood at the MCG.

The Dockers trailed the Bulldogs 42-1 in the second quarter on Saturday night, and Switkowski said his team can't afford another slow start.

"Especially against a team like Collingwood who have proven this year that they're really good in close games and they finish games off strongly," Switkowski said.

"We'll be on from the go this week."

Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe will miss again with a hamstring injury, but he will be a chance to return if the Dockers reach the preliminary final.

"I'm really flat for him," Switkowski said.

"He would love to be out there. He's got so much finals experience. He's our skipper, he's our best leader.

"I've been really impressed with how he's been around the club. He's been really positive, and getting around the guys sharing his experiences."