FREMANTLE captain Nat Fyfe will be sent for scans on a back injury after it was revealed the complaint that held him out of round one was more serious than first thought.
Fyfe was due to train on Thursday and push his case for selection against St Kilda on Sunday, but coach Justin Longmuir confirmed he would miss a second match with what the club hoped was a "minor setback".
The Dockers were not yet able to give a timeframe on his return, with the recent setback coming after a long recovery from multiple shoulder operations in the off-season and a minor knee complaint in recent weeks.
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"He's had a bit of an issue with his lower back and it hasn't improved the way we want it to improve, so we’ll have to do a little bit more diagnosis there and he won't play this week," Longmuir said on Thursday morning.
"We're not 100 per cent sure of the cause of it. It's an injury he's had for a while and it's just flared up and hasn't settled down like we would have liked, so we'll have to do a bit more digging around.
"We'll need to send him off for a scan. We're hoping it's short-term and fingers crossed he won't miss too much footy. At this stage it's a minor setback."
Ruckman Sean Darcy moved well at training on Thursday and appears to be over the calf complaint that held him out of round one, but Longmuir stopped short of declaring him fit.
The club champion shapes as a likely inclusion for ruckman Lloyd Meek, with the match committee unlikely to make many other changes.
Without Fyfe in the midfield, Fremantle was still able to claim an edge in centre clearances (16-9) against Adelaide but was beaten in contested ball (143-129).
Andrew Brayshaw and Will Brodie each had five centre clearances and Longmuir said he would look to build on the latter's involvement after the former Gold Coast midfielder's time on ground was restricted to 65 per cent.
"We'll keep working on his game time. There were a few players who were a little bit low because they got caught off for the last five minutes of the game," the coach said.
"I think he can build on his game from the weekend."
Goalkicking, like it was for much of 2021, has also been among the Dockers' focuses this week after kicking 11.17 and missing several short-range shots they would expect to convert.
"We've looked into that (and) we'll continue to work on it and work on kicking the goals we should kick," Longmuir said.
"We've looked into making sure we get shots from better areas, and tidying up a bit of our momentum, especially momentum against us.
"We saw it a lot over the first round … teams getting on top and kicking multiple goals in a row and we allowed about seven in a row, which is not good enough."
Longmuir said half-back Nathan Wilson (shoulder) would be available for selection if he completed training. Draftee Neil Erasmus was progressing well with his game but was still "going to take a little bit of time".
Longmuir said the Dockers had not lost any players this week to health and safety protocols as COVID-19 cases escalate in Western Australia, but the coach acknowledged it was inevitable they would at some stage.