The West

Walters latest Docker sidelined
Michael Walters. Pic: AFL Media

Fremantle will be without electric small forward Michael Walters for Sunday's game against Essendon at Patersons Stadium because of an ankle injury.

And fellow goal kicker Chris Mayne is also racing the clock because of his own ankle complaint.

Walters hobbled from the ground midway through the third quarter of Friday night's heavy defeat to Hawthorn at the MCG. He was on crutches when he flew back into Perth on Saturday afternoon and sits alongside Garrick Ibbotson (dislocated shoulder) and Mayne on a mounting injury list.

Walters first hurt his left ankle during the 48-point win over Gold Coast in wet conditions six days earlier.

Coach Ross Lyon denied after Friday night's thrashing that Fremantle had taken several sore players into the game.

But _The West Australian _understands there were doubts over Walters' fitness leading into the match and he may have been given the week off if the Dockers had not already lost three regulars - Nat Fyfe (suspension), Zac Dawson (suspension) and Michael Barlow (knee).

Walters, who kicked 46 goals last season, managed just nine disposals against the Hawks.

It is believed the 23-year-old is battling a high-grade sprain.

Fremantle have the option of swinging Hayden Crozier into attack to cover for Walters.

Ibbotson dislocated his right shoulder in the first quarter against the Hawks, with his immediate plight likely to be finalised today.

Surgery, if needed, would rule him out for at least three months.

Clancee Pearce looms as a possible replacement after amassing 39 possessions for Peel Thunder in Saturday's loss to Swan Districts.

Mayne was still on crutches when spotted in Fremantle on Sunday night, casting doubt on his availability for the Bombers match. The casualties could force Lyon to make at least three changes to his side for the second week running, although Dawson returns after serving his one-game ban.

In-form Essendon have beaten Fremantle in their past two WA clashes.

The Bombers stunned the Dockers at Patersons Stadium in round three last year, over- coming a 36-point half-time deficit to win by four points.

A positive for Fremantle is the availability of ruckmen Zac Clarke and Jack Hannath.

Clarke accepted a reprimand yesterday after being reported for rough conduct in the WAFL.

The AFL match review panel said Hannath's spoil on Hawk Matt Spangher lacked force and did not warrant a report. DID YOU KNOW? 36 The number of points Essendon trailed by at half-time against Fremantle in last year's clash at Patersons Stadium before running out four-point winners

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