Morabito return gains momentum
Morabito return gains momentum

Luckless Fremantle midfielder Anthony Morabito ticked another box in his return from three knee reconstructions on the weekend and will complete another milestone when he lines up for Peel Thunder against East Perth at Bendigo Bank Stadium on Saturday.

Morabito negotiated three quarters of a practice match for Peel a fortnight ago before backing up for a full game against South Fremantle last Saturday.

Barring an unforseen setback, the 22-year-old will play in Peel's round-one clash with the Royals as an emotional Dockers' comeback gathers momentum.

It is understood Fremantle would like him to play a minimum of three WAFL games before he is considered for Fremantle selection, meaning he could be in the frame when the Dockers take on Sydney at the SCG on April 19.

Peel coach Cam Shepherd said yesterday Morabito had emerged from the hit-out with the Bulldogs unscathed, much to his delight.

The big-bodied midfielder, who has not played for Fremantle since the 2010 semifinal loss to Geelong, has been spending much of his time at half-back during his carefully-planned return.

"Anthony played a full game and it was just wonderful that he got through another week and he's progressing really well," Shepherd said.

Shepherd was also pleased with the output of Morabito's Fremantle teammates Colin Sylvia, Clancee Pearce and Nick Suban.

Sylvia and Pearce flew back to play for the Thunder after travelling as emergencies for the match against Collingwood last Friday night, while Suban was serving a one-game suspension from last year's grand final.

Ruckman Zac Clarke (knee) and defender Garrick Ibbotson (Achilles) will make their first appearances for the season on Saturday.

"It's going to be a similar story between East Perth and us this week about who's going to be available," Shepherd said.

"It will be really interesting to see how many each side field.

"All Fremantle players who are up and ready to go and didn't play last week, you would think that they would be certainly available."

The West Australian

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