Fremantle have received a major boost to their prospects of beating Geelong and shoring up their top-four hopes with news Matthew Pavlich is set to play on Saturday after recovering from concussion.
Coach Ross Lyon earlier in the week said he was preparing for Pavlich not to play because his captain had not passed a cognitive state test, which gauges recovery from concussion. Today he said Pavlich had now passed the test.
Pavlich was subbed out before half-time in the game against Carlton last Thursday after an accidental elbow to the chin.
He also received a heavy knock in the previous game against St Kilda, but was able to play on.
“He has had his 'cog state' and passed it, so now I am preparing for him to play,” Lyon said this morning. “From here there is no reason why he shouldn’t play, as long as he doesn’t become symptomatic later in the week, so now we are planning for him to play. It is a roller-coaster ride.
“He is in good shape. I don’t get involved in the technicalities of it. There are some protocols. You either pass them or you don’t, and he has passed it and he is available.”
Lyon stressed Pavlich’s health would not be put at risk.
“We treat all our players with the utmost care. We have got a real responsibility," Lyon said.
"It is certainly topical, isn’t it, concussion. I would think we are world-best practice. We are very good in the AFL.
“Matthew Pavlich is like a son to Ken Withers. He has been at Freo for 16 years with him.”
Lyon said Colin Sylvia suffered a hamstring injury in the WAFL at the weekend and would miss several weeks.
The Dockers must make at least one change from the team that beat the Blues because of a hamstring injury suffered by Tendai Mzungu.
Hayden Crozier and Tom Sheridan lead the list of contenders to come in.