Docker Lobb's AFL season likely over: Lyon

Ross Lyon isn't sure whether the Optus Stadium turf is to blame for Fremantle's spate of foot issues, but they've suspended training there just in case.

dockers head coach ross lyon looks on while players warm up during the afl match between the fremantle dockers and the hawthorn hawks at domain stadium in perth australia
Dockers head coach ROSS LYON looks on while players warm up during the AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Hawthorn Hawks at Domain Stadium in Perth, Australia. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon concedes it's unlikely Rory Lobb will play again this year, with the AFL club launching an investigation into its spate of foot injuries.

The Dockers have temporarily suspended training at Optus Stadium, fearing the $1.6 billion venue may be the cause of their growing injury list.

Matt Taberner (foot fracture) and Alex Pearce (ankle fracture) have already been ruled out for the rest of the season.

And Lobb, who fractured the fourth metatarsal in his right foot, appears set to join them.

"It's a lengthy period of time. They haven't given up on him for the year, but it is unlikely," Lyon told channel 7 when asked about Lobb's chances of returning this season.

West Coast have also been plagued by foot issues since Optus Stadium opened for the 2018 season.

Tom Barrass is still sidelined with a stress reaction in his foot, while Willie Rioli, Jamie Cripps, and Elliot Yeo are others who have been struck down by foot or toe issues.

Sydney superstar Lance Franklin missed four weeks of action last year with a heel injury that the Swans attributed to the hard Optus Stadium surface.

Lyon still isn't sure whether the stadium is to blame, saying the club is exploring all potential causes.

"We're looking at all the threads and things we can control," he said.

"We'll look at footwear, we'll look at training loads.

"We just need to make sure we try to avoid any other stress fractures."

Ruckman Sean Darcy is in line to replace Lobb for Saturday night's clash with Port Adelaide after overcoming an ankle injury.

Stephen Hill is also in the selection mix after recovering from a persistent quad issue.

Hill, who hasn't played since round 20 last year, is likely to be given a run in the WAFL before an AFL recall.

Harley Bennell, who has starred in two WAFL matches since returning from a series of calf injuries, is set to be given another week in the second-tier competition.


AAP