Heath Chapman in action during a practice match between Fremantle and Port Adelaide at Fremantle Oval on March 2, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

LUCKLESS Fremantle defender Heath Chapman is set to miss the start of the season after scans confirmed a moderate-grade hamstring strain.

Chapman limped off the field during the second quarter of an intense pre-season hit-out at the club's training ground on Saturday in near 40-degree temperatures.

On Sunday, the club confirmed the 22-year-old is unlikely to feature in the club's season opener against Brisbane on March 17 and his return to action is yet to be determined.

"It is unlikely at this stage that Heath will be available for round 1," said Fremantle Executive General Manager of Football Joe Brierty.

"Our performance health team will now work with Heath to set his return to play plan.

"The exact timeline will be based on Heath's medical history and symptoms as he progresses through reconditioning."

Heath Chapman in action against GWS in round four on April 9, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

It continues a frustrating run with injuries for Chapman, who played just three games last season before being struck down by a series of leg and shoulder problems.

He has played just 26 matches in three seasons with the Dockers after being drafted with pick No.14 in 2020.

Chapman, who will take over the No.5 guernsey worn by Lachie Schultz, has been flagged to play more on the wing this season from his usual role in defence.