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Lyon confirms at least six Dockers will miss

Freo's plan, Trav off table, Kurt's lesson Matt Thompson presents Footy Feed
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 18: Aaron Sandilands and Matthew Pavlich of the Fremantle Dockers celebrates a goal during the 2015 AFL round 16 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Carlton Blues at Domain Stadium, Perth, Australia on July 18, 2015. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Aaron Sandilands and Matthew Pavlich are two of at least six Fremantle players to miss the final round

ROSS Lyon has confirmed that at least six senior players will definitely miss Saturday's clash with Port Adelaide and that youngster Connor Blakely will make his AFL debut.

The AFL gave Fremantle the green light on Monday to rest up to 11 players for Saturday's round 23 clash after the Dockers secured top spot last weekend with one round to play.

Lyon confirmed that skipper Matthew Pavlich, Luke McPharlin, Aaron Sandilands, David Mundy, Stephen Hill and Lee Spurr would definitely not play this week. 

The Dockers will discuss any further changes over the coming days.

"I think that's a really good starting point and I think most of those are pretty obvious," Lyon said on Tuesday.

"From there we've just got a few to work through. Michael Johnson is so important to us.

"There's a few guys like that, (Nick) Suban, (Chris) Mayne, (Danyle) Pearce and those sort of guys."

Lyon said the dilemma with Johnson was that he missed eight games mid-season due to a serious hamstring injury and had only played three games on return.

Lyon confirmed that Michael Walters would not be risked against Port Adelaide after missing last week with calf soreness.

Cam Sutcliffe is set to miss with his dislocated shoulder, although Lyon said he would be available for the first final.

Hayden Ballantyne trained on Tuesday morning at Fremantle Oval and Lyon said the forward was on track to return for the week one of the finals.

Ballantyne hasn't played since he had surgery on the torn pec he suffered in round 16.

Lyon said Ballantyne has been badgering him to play this week.

"He was ringing me and texting me so I think he's pretty keen," Lyon said.

"He's training today. I need further information.

"I don't make those decisions. The surgeons and the doctors make those decisions."

Star midfielder Nat Fyfe is also recovering well from the inflammation in his fibula. Fyfe briefly appeared before training with a protective cast on his left shin.

I got some reports on him today," Lyon said.

"He's really feeling good about himself today. It's all going according to plan.

"(The cast) is just a little bit to control the mobility. But he's working really hard."

Lyon confirmed that Blakely, 19, would make his AFL debut this week.

The talented midfielder has been knocking on the door all season after playing during the NAB Challenge and has been the first emergency on a number of occasions.

He was drafted with pick No.34 in last year's NAB AFL Draft and has averaged 24 disposals in 16 games in the WAFL this season.

Lyon said he would have debuted last week if not for an ankle issue.

"Connor is a special young man and a special young player so it'll be great to have a look at him and he'll get a real crack at it," Lyon said.

"He'll come up against (Travis) Boak and all those guys, so he'll know he's alive."

Lyon could not confirm any names, but Hayden Crozier, Lachie Weller, Alex Pearce, Matt Taberner, Zac Clarke, Max Duffy, Brady Grey, Jack Hannath and Tanner Smith would all be in the mix to play depending on how many players get rested.

The Dockers have Michael Apeness and Josh Deluca on the long-term injury list, which gives them the option of promoting two more rookies if requires.

Jacob Ballard and Ethan Hughes would be the most likely if the Dockers took that option.

Smith was promoted earlier in the season when Anthony Morabito was placed on the long-term injury list.