Gumbleton s future on thin ice
Gumbleton's future on thin ice

Scott Gumbleton's future could be decided in the next fortnight, with the AFL career of the injury-prone Fremantle forward in serious doubt.

The 26-year-old is being sent for a knee operation in the latest setback after another season marred by injuries.

Gumbleton appeared on track early in the year to establish a spot in the Dockers line-up before tearing his troublesome right hamstring in a NAB Challenge match against the Western Bulldogs in February.

He returned from injury to string together six matches for Peel Thunder before sustaining another soft-tissue leg injury that has kept him on the sidelines for the past month.

The problems have left the 2006 No.2 draft pick unable to live up to Fremantle's vision to transform the forward into a tall target capable of supporting captain Matthew Pavlich.

Gumbleton's manager Paul Connors is due to discuss the player's future with Dockers off- icials in the next fortnight.

The forward has failed to meet the performance benchmarks built into the one-year deal he signed when he joined Fremantle at the end of last season, which would have triggered an automatic second year.

Gumbleton was secured from Essendon by trading pick No.55 in last year's national draft.

He managed just 35 matches in seven seasons with the Bombers, but had a better run with injury last year, playing the majority of the season in the VFL.

Dockers football operations general manager Chris Bond said at the time of the Peel Thunder product's recruitment that Fremantle had done their homework on the 197cm goal kicker.

Youngster Matt Taberner has impressed in place of Gumbleton this season, earning a Rising Star nomination on Monday after amassing 22 disposals, 10 marks and kicking a goal in last Sunday's crushing win against Brisbane.

The West Australian

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