The West

Lower back in action after concussion
Fremantle Dockers midfielder Nick Lower at training. Picture: Lincoln Baker / The West Australian.

Nick Lower has resumed contact work and been taken off Fremantle's injury list as he returns from a month-long battle with concussion.

But the good news surrounding Lower doesn't extend to key defender Luke McPharlin, who will miss Saturday's game against Adelaide after failing to have a forceful front-on conduct report overturned at the AFL Tribunal last night.

Lower has spent the last month struggling with side effects from concussions suffered against Collingwood and Western Bulldogs in rounds 14 and 15.

He finished both games but missed the following week and battled nausea in a WAFL match upon his return seven days later.

Lower was unavailable for selection the next round before returning to training, but his health again deteriorated, forcing him to miss another week.

Housemate Michael Barlow said the midfielder often felt fine but hadn't been able to get through an entire week without problems.

"He's having a few hiccups with the concussion he got a few weeks ago," Barlow said.

"Obviously it's a pretty touchy subject in AFL footy and the player's welfare and wellbeing comes to the fore. There's nothing wrong with him around the house, it's just when he gets on the move.

"We're hoping that will settle down over the coming weeks and he should be fine to go later on in the year.

"It's only sporadic. He'll get through two or three training sessions really well and then just might not feel so well on another given day.

"He's had all the precautionary medical expertise and nothing too drastic is going on. I'm just concerned about his wellbeing."

Lower trained again yesterday and, in a positive sign, had no problems taking part in contested marking or tackling drills.

Ironically, the Crows are also dealing with a serious concussion issue involving Kurt Tippett. The key forward has been knocked out three times this season and hasn't played the past fortnight after his most recent setback, suffered against West Coast in round 17.

Tippett has resumed training with his teammates, but his status was listed as TBC (to be confirmed) on the club's official injury list yesterday afternoon.

In Tippett's absence, a great deal of responsibility rests with Taylor Walker, who would have got McPharlin had the Docker been successful at the tribunal.

McPharlin pleaded not guilty to making forceful front-on contact to West Coast's Jack Darling.

He argued that he made contact to Darling's arm and hadn't been negligent because he didn't realise teammate Matt de Boer was forcing the Eagle forward in a tackle.

But the tribunal took little time to find him guilty and suspend him for one match. He will retain 37.5 demerit points for 12 months.

Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich and de Boer accepted their reprimands.

"Obviously it's an important game for the club," McPharlin said. But we have great depth in our side. I'll sit out for one week and return the following."

I'm just concerned about his wellbeing."Michael Barlow on Nick Lower

The West Australian

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