The West

Dockers haven t ruled out Clarke for opener
Dockers haven't ruled out Clarke for opener

Fremantle ruckman Zac Clarke could still be fit enough to play in round one despite badly injuring his knee at a music festival last month.

Coach Ross Lyon conceded the injury sustained by 23-year-old Clarke at the Falls festival in Victoria was "not ideal", but said he expected the athletic footballer would be playing in the club's season opener against Collingwood on March 14.

Clarke damaged his posterior cruciate ligament and is expected to miss up to eight weeks.

"The first reaction is 'what can we do to support and help you'," Lyon said.

"We're in the business of supporting our players and working through everything that's put in front of them.

"That's the first reaction ... I think it's self evident it's not ideal, but we want them to have healthy, active lives outside of it. It's their break and it's a really good period for them to freshen up and work hard.

Unfortunately, sometimes people are going to get hurt."

Jon Griffin, Clancee Pearce and Garrick Ibbotson all ran laps at this morning's training session away from the main group as they continue their return from surgery.

Anthony Morabito's program continues to be managed, with his run restricted to skills and change of direction work coming off three knee reconstructions.

Forward Chris Mayne was not spotted on the track.

Lyon said the club was creating a strong foundation to launch an assault on the season, with small tweaks being made to a game plan that helped them reach last year's grand final.

"We've got some real belief about ourselves," he said. "We understand there's a lot of hard work to do. Everyone starts equal, everyone's talking it up and we're no different. We're working really hard and we've got strong
belief that we can compete with the very best teams."

The West Australian

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