The wait is finally over for Anthony Morabito.
Almost four years since he played his previous AFL match, the Dockers' unluckiest player will return to the premier competition in Saturday's clash with Melbourne at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
Morabito, whose past appearance in the purple was in the semi-final round in 2010, was among the Fremantle travelling party that left Perth today.
The 23-year-old has endured three knee reconstructions, the first during pre-season training in 2010.
However, he has recovered to play 11 matches for Peel in the WAFL in 2014.
Morabito comes into the squad as does Hayden Crozier and defender Luke McPharlin after he recovered from an knee injury that sidelined him for three matches. Matt Taberner, who played in the win over West Coast last Saturday, was left out of the squad.
The Dockers advised Morabito this morning he would be making his return.
After training, Ross Lyon called everyone in,” Morabito said.
“His last point was that I was in. I was a little bit shocked.
“All the boys were really happy - they embraced me. I was quite emotional at the time and I’ll cherish that moment.
“I gave dad a quick phone call. It was quite a special moment for me.”
The gloves were on at Fremantle Oval this morning as the Dockers prepared for the clash with the Demons.
Many of Fremantle’s senior players, including Matthew Pavlich, Aaron Sandilands and Nat Fyfe, were wearing a glove at training this morning as a trial ahead of the TIO Stadium clash.
The club hopes the gloves will combat the high humidity and oppressive heat forecast for the game.
Coach Ross Lyon said the players would choose whether they wore the gloves in the game but they had received permission from the AFL to do so.
“They’ll trial them with a view to wearing them in the game,” he said.
“If we need them, they’ll wear them because of the conditions.
“No directives from me, I give them enough orders as it is.
“I asked the guys who was going to try them and a fair few put their hands up.
“A couple of guys have played up there before.
“It’s not a big one but attention to detail, trying to give ourselves the best opportunity.”
Lyon said the Darwin trip would be tough but repeated their philosophy of being an anywhere, anytime team.
“It’s a significant challenge,” he said.
“But it’s great we take the game to all parts of Australia.”