FREMANTLE'S tall stocks have taken another hit on the eve of the season with potential debutant Josh Treacy offered a two-match ban for striking in a WAFL practice match on Saturday.
Treacy is entering his first season but had become prominent in the club's plans after an impressive summer, with the bullocking rookie considered certain to face Melbourne in the season opener at the MCG.
His importance had grown after Rory Lobb's knee injury left the Dockers with two recognised tall forwards available for selection, with Matt Taberner now set to shoulder a significant load on Saturday.
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Treacy, who was representing Peel Thunder, struck Perth midfielder Brady Grey while in a tackling motion and ended the former Docker's day in the first quarter.
No report was laid, but the Demons submitted a "Notice of Investigation" post-match and the WAFL Match Review Panel sat on Monday afternoon, grading the strike as intentional conduct, medium impact and high contact.
The Dockers have until 3pm Tuesday to challenge the ban but risk losing Treacy for an extra week, sidelining the forward for games against Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney and Carlton.
Fremantle had already considered shifting one of their tall defenders forward, with Alex Pearce flagged by the club as an option given the reluctance to relocate impressive young backman Brennan Cox.
The 193cm Griffin Logue, who is returning from a hamstring injury, is also an option to play forward and use his athleticism as a support ruckman if needed.
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Coach Justin Longmuir said his tall defenders had volunteered to make the shift forward but the club was not looking for a short-term fix, given Lobb will be sidelined for half the season.
"They’ve come to me this week and put their hand up … Brennan’s probably the only one who hasn’t. I’ve said before that I’m just reluctant to move 'Coxy' around too much," Longmuir told Perth radio station 6PR.
"We don’t want to be swinging Pearce, (Joel) Hamling or Cox forward and back each week. We just need to take a long-term approach."
Ruckman Sean Darcy has been sidelined for seven weeks with a knee injury but is in the mix for round one, potentially rotating with likely debutant Lloyd Meek as a forward/ruck.
While the talented Sam Sturt can provide an aerial presence, the 189cm forward has only recently returned to training with the main group after a long lay-off with an ankle issue.
It is not only the tall stocks at Fremantle reeling from a recent spate of injuries, with small forwards Michael Walters (hamstring), Bailey Banfield (ankle), Mitch Crowden (calf) and Michael Frederick (calf) all sidelined.
Fremantle is hopeful Walters will return for the round two clash against Greater Western Sydney at Optus Stadium.
Small forward Sam Switkowski has raced into the selection frame, while midfielder Connor Blakely could also start the season in the senior team for the first time in three years.
Blakely was impressive in the practice match for Peel Thunder playing a leading midfield role and using the ball well, while Switkowski kicked two goals.