Fremantle will be without two of its best midfielders when they take on Brisbane at the Gabba on Sunday.
Fremantle’s bid to lock away fourth spot has been dealt a significant blow after star midfielders Nat Fyfe and Michael Barlow were ruled out of action for the next two weeks.
Barlow will miss games against Brisbane and Port Adelaide after breaking his thumb in Sunday’s 19-point AFL win over Hawthorn.
Fyfe will also miss those matches after having his two-match suspension for striking Hawthorn’s Jordan Lewis upheld by the AFL tribunal on Tuesday night.
Barlow won’t require surgery on his broken thumb, but the injury comes at a bad time as the Dockers attempt to solidify their position in the top four.
Fremantle currently sit a game and 2.3 percentage points clear of fifth-placed Port Adelaide.
But the Power could leapfrog the Dockers for the double finals chance if they prevail in the final-round showdown in Perth.
Dockers goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne will return for Sunday’s clash with Brisbane at the Gabba, while Garrick Ibbotson, Matt de Boer, Nick Suban and Anthony Morabito are also in line for a recall to fill the void.
Midfielder Danyle Pearce is confident the team has the depth to cover for both Fyfe and Barlow.
“We had a challenging patch last year where we had a few big players out and the next person just stepped in and the season just kept rolling,” Pearce said.
Brisbane thrashed Collingwood by 67 points at the MCG last week, and Dockers coach Ross Lyon said his team’s upcoming clash at the Gabba could prove to be a tricky task.
“It’s a frightening prospect going to Brisbane,” Lyon told Perth radio station 6PR.
“We’re building hard. We’re in control of our destiny.
“But we’re capable, as all teams are, of a performance that’s substandard.