FREMANTLE coach Justin Longmuir has declared star veteran Michael Walters a certain starter for Sunday's clash with Carlton at Marvel Stadium, but Josh Treacy's hopes of an AFL debut have been quashed for another week.
Walters has been sidelined since injuring his right hamstring during the club's AAMI Community Series match against West Coast.
The 30-year-old has trained strongly over the past fortnight and will be a direct replacement for skipper Nat Fyfe (concussion) in what is expected to be the only change to the side.
"He's itching to get out there and contribute," Longmuir said on Friday.
"He's a player who could come in and, with his experience and game sense and skill, can have an impact straight away."
Treacy, who missed the first two rounds of the AFL season through a WAFL suspension, was widely tipped to be rushed straight into the senior side this week.
But Longmuir was so happy with the way the forward line functioned in last week's 31-point win over GWS that he did not want to tinker with it any further.
With ruckman Sean Darcy set to play as a forward again, Longmuir was wary about adding 193cm spearhead Treacy into the mix as well.
"(We are) playing at (Marvel Stadium), fast deck, against a team that moves the ball probably the fastest in the AFL, and some of the best ball movement in the AFL," Longmuir said.
"We are always trying to strike that balance between how our forward line, in particular, attacks and defends.
"He (Treacy) probably just missed out due to timing in some sense.
"Sean gave us a really good contest forward of the ball last week, and his ruck work inside 50m in particular was first class.
"And Tabs (Matt Taberner) is in pretty good form as well."
Fyfe is recovering well from concussion, but is no certainty to return next week against the Hawks.
"He's in good spirits," Longmuir said.
"He's ticking every box so far. It's really symptoms and protocol based. If he doesn't tick every box, we'll give him another week, or another two weeks. That's how these things work."
Griffin Logue will return from a hamstring injury through either the AFL or WAFL next week, while Tobe Watson and Liam Henry will travel with the team this week as emergencies after recovering from injury.