FREMANTLE defenders Alex Pearce and Joel Hamling have been dealt cruel injury blows in their round one returns and will be sidelined for at least a month as the Dockers' injury crisis worsens.
Scans confirmed Pearce had suffered a medial ligament injury in his left knee and will miss the next six to eight weeks, while Hamling will miss four to six weeks with an ankle ligament injury.
The defenders were returning for their first games since 2019 after injured wiped out last season for the important pair, who shaped as key players entering 2021.
They join a long injury list at the Dockers, who had used Pearce in attack against the Demons to cover significant key position losses in the front half, with Rory Lobb (knee) and Josh Treacy (suspension) unavailable.
"Alex will be in a knee brace for four weeks, at which point we’ll reassess after the brace comes off," football manager Peter Bell told the club's website.
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Bell said Hamling had injured the "deltoid ligament" on the inside of the left ankle he had two surgeries on last year.
The ankle was first dislocated in February last year and was operated on a second time in May, eventually ruling Hamling out for the season.
"It’s a little bit more complicated because Joel’s also pulled a small piece of bone away from the ankle as well, so he’ll be in a moon boot for a couple of weeks and then we’ll reassess from there," Bell said.
The Dockers are hopeful exciting forward Michael Frederick will be available to face Greater Western Sydney after missing round one with a calf issue.
Bell said versatile forward Sam Sturt would complete a solid session on Saturday in his push to return from a lengthy ankle injury.
Defender Griffin Logue remains sidelined with a hamstring injury, bringing prized draftee Heath Chapman into the selection frame against the Giants to cover the Dockers' tall losses.
Ruckman Sean Darcy is available for selection and could provide tall reinforcements after travelling for round one but not playing.