Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says Nathan Fyfe is likely to take his place against Adelaide on Sunday despite missing training this morning with a sore ankle.
Lyon has also added his voice to the chorus of disapproval from coaches about the possibility, floated by former West Coast coach john Worsfold, of zones being trialled in the AFL pre-season.
Fyfe, who struggled through Sunday’s clash with the Western Bulldogs with the problem, was one of several Fremantle players who missed the session at Fremantle Oval.
Midfielder David Mundy worked in the gym, skipper Matthew Pavlich was absent and Luke McPharlin, Danyle Pearce and Stephen Hill ran laps away from the main group but all are expected to be available this week.
Lyon said Fyfe’s ankle was swollen but, with four days until bounce down, he was confident he would be fit to play.
“It is swollen but it is not severely damaged,” he said. "He won’t train today but he will train Friday and the word is that he will play.”
Lyon said Hill got a knock on his knee. However, the midfielder ran reasonably freely alongside Pearce and looks set to play.
Lyon said his match committee were not afraid of making tough decisions if someone had to be left out, citing the example of Alex Silvagni being dropped last week to allow Luke McPharlin to return.
“Last week it was a fairly difficult decision for Alex Silvagni not to play and for Luke McPharlin to take his place,” he said.
“Alex took it as well as he could. He is not happy. We are under no illusions. He is very disappointed. It is just the reality we have to deal with.
"Fortunately he has the capacity to be quite resilient and carry himself really well, but I am under no illusions that he is happy about it.”
Lyon said he was unsure whether Worsfold’s view of the possibility of zones was his own or a reflection of how the rules committee were feeling.
“I am a bit confused as to what it is. If it is a formal presentation from the rules committee that is serious then I would talk to it but I think it is just flying a kite and generating some discussion,” he said.
But he urged critics of the game to “have a cup of tea and a scone and relax” and made no bones about the possibility that such a radical rule cold be trialled in a pre-season competition.
“Let’s just destroy our pre-season. We are an elite competition trying to get ready for an AFL season. We are the only elite competition in the world that goes into a pre-season not practising the rules we play in-season,” he said. “The uniqueness and the magnificence of Australian Rules football always finds a way.
“I think people judge it according to their preferred biases and they see what they want to see rather than what is really occurring.
"But to me, I have got a game to play this weekend. I think that the game is in great shape. Tex kicked five, Buddy and Tippett are a dynamic duo up there, they are kicking 20 goals a week and there are a few teams kicking 16. I think the panic merchants just need to have a cup of tea and a scone and just relax.”