Docker Fyfe set to play out the AFL season

Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe will avoid surgery for now on his injured right shoulder and is targeting a return straight after the club's bye.

NAT FYFE of the Dockers.
NAT FYFE of the Dockers. Picture: James Elsby/AFL Media/Getty Images

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir is confident Nat Fyfe can play out the season with his shoulder injury, saying the Brownlow medallist might miss only one AFL match.

Fyfe dislocated his reconstructed right shoulder during last week's 28-point loss to the Bulldogs.

The 29-year-old is likely to need surgery at the end of the year, but Fyfe has been given the all clear to resume playing once he regains strength in the shoulder.

The Dockers have the bye next week before facing Collingwood at Marvel Stadium on June 26.

"We're hoping Fyfey will be right for the Collingwood game," Longmuir said.

"He has got to get some strength back in his shoulder first so we don't put it at further risk of damage, but we're pretty confident he can play out the rest of the year."

Ruckman Sean Darcy has been given the all clear to face Gold Coast at Optus Stadium on Saturday despite suffering a hamstring scare last week.

Darcy came off in the final quarter against the Bulldogs and banged his fist on the bench in frustration while he was being assessed by medical staff.

But scans cleared him of any damage and he will lead the ruck against the Suns.

"Last week he went into the game with a sore hammy," Longmuir said.

"And once he started getting soreness in there again, with cramp, there was just a no-risk policy with how important he is for us. He's ready to go."

Key defender Alex Pearce will play his first AFL match since injuring his knee in round one.

Pearce has been dogged by leg and ankle injuries throughout his stop-start 54-game career, but has successfully negotiated two-and-a-half WAFL games over the past three weeks.

Longmuir expects veteran Stephen Hill to miss another month with his latest hamstring setback, while defender Brennan Cox (hamstring) faces a race against time to play again this year.

Spearhead Matt Taberner (ankle ligament damage) will miss a third straight match.

"He's got no pain but he's lacking a little bit of strength," Longmuir said.

"We feel like if we played him, we'd be putting him at longer-term risk if something happened to that ankle again.

"So with that bye coming up and that ankle not being 100 per cent right and the risk to his long-term ability to play in the back half of the year, we just thought it was a risk not worth taking."

The Suns will welcome back star midfielder Matt Rowell, who has been sidelined since injuring his knee in the round-one loss to West Coast in Perth.

Both Fremantle (5-7) and Gold Coast (4-7) sit well adrift of the top-eight, making Saturday's match a crunch affair.