Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says star defender Luke McPharlin still has to jump some hurdles before he is confirmed to take on the Western Bulldogs on Sunday at Etihad Stadium.
McPharlin told 96FM this morning he would play against the Bulldogs, and then trained strongly with the main group at Fremantle today.
Captain Matthew Pavlich was the only notable absentee from the track, while Matt de Boer limped off halfway through the session and did not return.
Clancee Pearce joined in all the drills, despite suffering a shoulder injury a fortnight ago and out of favour youngster Josh Simpson ran laps away from the main group.
Lyon said he was optimistic about McPharlin playing on Sunday after a month out with a quad injury.
He said they wouldn’t be tempted to give him another week because of the lack of big forwards at the Bulldogs.
“Hopefully he’ll train Friday and we’ve got to pick the team yet, on Thursday the team goes in,” Lyon said.
“A little bit to work through there yet, but he’s a very good player for us, a great leader and we’re very optimistic.
“I haven’t been in a position to rest and rotate too often, so we’re planning to get Luke up.
“That’s the aim anyway.”
Lyon was unsure if there would be any other changes to the team that beat Geelong by 32 points before the bye.
He said Colin Sylvia was a chance of making his debut for the club.
“We've played some very good football,” he said.
“No one's walked into our office yet and said, 'here's my spot, I'll give it to Col'.
“It's going to be tough.
“If Luke declares himself right, who comes out of the team?
“That's one of the harder jobs to get through.”
Lyon said the whole football world would get behind Alistair Clarkson after the Hawthorn coach was hospitalised with a serious auto-immune condition.
“We’re concerned, he’s a professional colleague and I have enormous respect (for him),” he said.
“He’ll get full support from Hawthorn, full support of the football world, but knowing Alastair, his character will shine through and he’ll work his way through and he’ll be back sooner rather than later coaching the Hawthorn Football Club.”