Main content

'Not going to waver': Lyon in no rush to pick injury-plagued Docker

Harley Bennell is pushing for a return to the Dockers side for the first time since 2017 - AFL,Fremantle Dockers,Ross Lyon,Harley Bennell
Harley Bennell is pushing for a return to the Dockers side for the first time since 2017

FREMANTLE coach Ross Lyon is excited by Harley Bennell's progress in the WAFL but won't be pressured to call up the injury-plagued star against Melbourne this Saturday.

Bennell has starred in his past three games at Peel, raising hopes the former Gold Coast midfielder could save his career and earn a contract extension beyond 2019.

But with the Dockers riding a three-game winning streak, Lyon is in no rush to pick the 26-year-old for his third appearance in purple.

WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor

"Harley, I saw the highlights, they looked pretty good. We'd like a bit more body of work and conditioning and our team, it's a hard team to get into at the minute, it's not that easy," Lyon said.

"I understand the impatience, I understand the hype and the story around it but I'm not going to waver in my understanding of what's required to be successful at the AFL level, it doesn't matter what external pressures are put on me or our (club).

"We'll make the right decision at the right time."

FULL INJURY LIST Who's ruled out and who's a test?

The Dockers are unlikely to make many changes for their second trip to the MCG in three games, although Adam Cerra is available after recovering from illness.

At 7-5, Fremantle sits in sixth spot on the ladder and a return to finals for the first time since 2015 will come into sharper focus if the Dockers can knock over the 16th-placed Demons.

"We've got a lot of belief in ourselves but we know Melbourne have been going to the end, they've been fierce and they'll see us as a scalp as we've won the past few in a row," Lyon said.

"MCG, the home of football, the last time we were there we played well (four-point win over Collingwood). It doesn't count for anything, but it does instill a belief that we can get over there and get it done."

The Dockers received some positive news on the injury front this week with big man Rory Lobb expected back in a month after initial fears his foot problem was season-ending.

Find Trends on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify

Fremantle could resume training at Optus Stadium soon with Lobb and Alex Pearce (ankle) believed to have gone down with impact injuries and not stress-related issues.

"We're off red alert," Lyon said. 

"We're not at battle stations at the minute on the surface.

"When we thought it was another stress fracture and Alex Pearce has seemed to be an impact as well, but until we knew that we were really concerned.

"We'll still be diligent but we're all breathing a whole lot easier."