FREMANTLE defender Joel Hamling is seeking further external medical advice as he searches for answers on his troublesome ankle.
A frustrated Hamling has had two surgeries on a left ankle he first dislocated in February but remains no closer to AFL action after a series of delays.
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AFL.com.au understands the Western Bulldogs premiership player departed the Dockers' Gold Coast hub on June 29 to head to Melbourne to meet with renowned surgeon David Young.
Young – the orthopeadic surgeon who treats the Bulldogs among other clubs – did not facilitate Hamling's first two surgeries the second of which came in late May.
However, when arriving to meet Young, Hamling was turned away due to the ankle being infected.
Hamling returned to Perth where he has been away from his teammates since they returned in July, with the defender told to rest and not exercise for six weeks.
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He is hoping to re-join his teammates at the Dockers next week, provided he passes a COVID-19 test on Monday or Tuesday.
It is hoped Hamling could return to Victoria to undergo corrective surgery from Young in coming weeks but it would require a border exemption given current Western Australian laws.
His injury continues an alarming trend of injuries at the Dockers with Alex Pearce (ankle), Darcy Tucker (hamstring), Hayden Young (ankle) and Griffin Logue (toe) out for the season.
Hamling's agent Colin Young was last year scathing of the club's medical department after his client Shane Kersten was forced to depart following a long-term foot injury.
"Shane and the club will part ways at the end of the week amicably and Shane will do his rehab under a different set of eyes," Young told The West Australian in July last year.
"I have serious concerns on how the club rehabilitates its players (and) it's my opinion that this area of the club needs an immediate review.
"Immediate changes need to be made or the club is going nowhere."
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Dockers high performance manager Jason Weber remains at the club in a position he has held since 2008.
Michael Walters, Nat Fyfe and Jesse Hogan are among other high-profile Dockers to have had soft tissue injuries this season.