Fremantle have received mixed news on star ruckman Aaron Sandilands – he will need hamstring surgery, but should return midway through this AFL season.
The three-time All-Australian consulted with surgeon Julian Feller in Melbourne on Monday after aggravating the injury to his left hamstring.
The Dockers announced on Monday night that Sandilands will be out of action for eight to 12 weeks.
“It’s very disappointing for Aaron and the club but with the appropriate period of recovery and a structured rehabilitation program, it is possible he will be available for selection mid-way through the season,” said Fremantle football manager Chris Bond.
“But at this stage we will have to wait until after his surgery and the recovery phase before we can be more specific about when Aaron will be available for selection.”
Sandilands originally tore the muscle during the pre-season and was expected to return in round two.
But he aggravated the injury last week and that forced the Melbourne visit.
The other silver lining to this cloud for Fremantle is that backup ruckman Jonathon Griffin played well against West Coast star Dean Cox in Saturday’s round-one win over the Eagles.
Griffin also stood up for the Dockers last year when Sandilands was injured.
The two ruckmen only played three games together last season.
“I’ve got full faith in Jon,” Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said post-match.
“Seeing Aaron playing in our front half a fair bit would be fantastic for us and we will see that at some point, just not at the moment.
“But I thought Jon and Kepler (Bradley) as a tandem were really effective.”
A series of toe injuries has hampered Sandilands over the past two seasons.
These latest hamstring troubles cast further doubts on whether the 30-year-old’s body could still handle the rigours of elite football.