FREMANTLE star Matthew Pavlich is disappointed to be spending this week on the sidelines, but coach Ross Lyon says it is a matter of saving the veteran forward from himself.
Lyon confirmed on Tuesday that Pavlich would be rested against Hawthorn on Saturday.
The Dockers sat down in the pre-season and picked this game in Tasmania as a possible opportunity to manage the 34-year-old.
Lyon said despite Pavlich's good form and desire to play the Dockers decided to stick with the plan.
"Over pre-season we looked at some games and this was always on the radar," Lyon said on Thursday.
"Matthew was really keen to play, so we sort of committed to having a weekly discussion with him and not pre-empting from here.
"He was a bit disappointed in a sense, but sometimes you've got to save players from themselves.
"We think he's in really good form. He's got some niggles so if we can settle that down.
"It clearly gives someone else an opportunity, so we'll take it on a weekly basis from here."
Lyon said Pavlich's decision to play on this season had been a good one and he was dismissive of anyone suggesting that the veteran should retire mid-season.
"There's always ignorant, inaccurate people out there, and that's the category I put them in," Lyon said.
"It's been really important," he said of Pavlich's call to play on.
"It's been a good decision. There's no doubt not being captain – even though he's leading strongly around the place at the minute – has been beneficial for him.
"That responsibility taken away from him has freed him up. He's a bit more relaxed. He's been terrific. He's playing some really good football. We get stuck on age a fair bit."
Lyon said he needed to contemplate the Dockers forward structure this week with Pavlich out.
They do not have any like-for-like key forward options to turn to, and he suggested he could play a smaller forward line against the Hawks.
Lyon also suggested he could play a second ruckman this week.
He chose to leave out Zac Clarke against Greater Western Sydney last week in preference for using key defender Zac Dawson to assist main ruckman Jon Griffin.
Lyon said he was keen to get Clarke back into form.
"He was unfortunate, the first centre bounce of the year he hurts his knee a little bit," Lyon said.
"So he wasn't at his best at Peel (last week) but overall his attitude to improving and improving his game has been really strong.
"We spoke about how he has carried the No.1 ruck mantle when Aaron wasn't there and Jon wasn't there, as Jon's also done.
"The last couple of weeks they haven't been in great form, but I thought it was a step up from Jon on the weekend and it would be great to get Zac in that sort of form as well."
Clarke is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Injured veteran Aaron Sandilands has already committed to playing on 2017.