FREMANTLE midfielder Michael Barlow has been ruled out of Saturday night's clash with Melbourne at TIO Stadium as he needs another week to recover from finger surgery.
Barlow fractured his finger in the round 14 loss to Collingwood and required surgery. He was initially listed to miss a month of football.
He did a hard running session on Tuesday at Fremantle Oval but did not participate in any ball work and coach Ross Lyon stated on Tuesday night that he was a chance to play.
But Lyon said on Thursday he was off the mark suggesting Barlow wouldn't be ready this week.
"No unfortunately, I went off too early," Lyon said.
"He needs one more week. It was four weeks but two weeks was a bit risky. He was really keen. Once we weighed it all up he was ruled out. He potentially could've played. So hopefully next week."
The Dockers will be forced to make at least one change from the side that was soundly beaten by the Magpies prior to the bye. Their injury list has eased only "marginally" according to Lyon.
He did confirm that ruckman Jonathon Griffin would return after missing the last three matches with a hamstring injury.
Lyon said Griffin was a welcome inclusion after Zac Clarke and Jack Hannath were soundly beaten by Magpie ruckman Brodie Grundy.
"He's important," Lyon said.
"Jon himself would be the first to say he's been a bit inconsistent. Obviously the guys didn't put their best foot forward against Grundy and really Jon will play. We'll make some final decisions as to who stays in and who goes out."
Lyon was frustrated with his side's performance against Collingwood after winning three straight in the previous three weeks. The Dockers were belted in the clearances and contested possession count but Lyon was more annoyed at their ball use, given all of the things they have worked on this season.
"We'd like to play with a bit more penetration when we've got the opportunity," Lyon said.
"We felt we had plenty of opportunity but our ball use and overusing and over-handball gave us no chance in the game whatsoever.
"I think it's been a bit of a problem all year to be truthful. It's been some overuse. Our turnovers centre-back. We thought we'd worked our way through it.
"We're trying to clarify those decisions for the players and those principles."
Lyon said he wouldn't get nostalgic this week given he is set to face close friend Paul Roos for the last time as an opposition coach.