Fremantle Dockers captain Nat Fyfe set to miss more of pre-season because of shoulder infection

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Mark DuffieldThe West Australian
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Nat Fyfe’s shoulder continues to give him problems, with an infection now setting him back further.
Camera IconNat Fyfe’s shoulder continues to give him problems, with an infection now setting him back further. Credit: Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos/via AFL Photos

Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe’s road to round one in the 2022 season just got rockier again with news on Monday that he has developed an infection from surgery on his injured right shoulder.

Fyfe is already expected to miss the start of pre-season training for the club’s senior players because of the surgery last week.

Fremantle last week revealed that the dual Brownlow Medallist underwent further surgery in Perth on Tuesday after progress in his recovery from the injury that prematurely ended his 2021 season had stalled.

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Fremantle football boss Peter Bell said Fyfe would be limited in his recovery work for a two-to-three-week period as he underwent the first phase of the antibiotic treatment.

“Unfortunately, Nathan’s tests have indicated a bacterial infection, and as a result, he will undergo intravenous antibiotics over the next two to three weeks,” Bell said.

“He won’t be able to do much physically in the period the antibiotics are being administered intravenously.”

Bell said Fyfe remained upbeat about what would be required in the recovery process.

“Nathan is optimistic and understands in particular the importance of the next two to three weeks to allow the IV antibiotics optimal effectiveness,” Bell said.

“We will advise a return to training date in due course, once there is more clarity around Nat’s recovery.”

The club had sent him for scans which revealed a small crack in a bone block, executive general manager of football Peter Bell said in a club statement.

Fyfe would have been due to resume training with Fremantle’s older playing group on December 6.

Fyfe reached the 200 game milestone in 2021 but it was an injury interrupted season for him ended by the shoulder dislocation.

He had also missed a game earlier in the season with concussion after being taken out off the ball by GWS player Sam Reid.

Fyfe initially injured the shoulder late in the round 12 battle with the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium , a match remarkable for the fact that Fremantle lost three players to injury in the space of a minute with Brennan Cox lost for the season with a serious hamstring problem.

Nat Fyfe was spotted at Lilac Hill on Sunday watching the Sydney Sixers play.
Camera IconNat Fyfe was spotted at Lilac Hill on Sunday watching the Sydney Sixers play. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Fyfe missed two games initially with the shoulder problem, then felt he could play out the season but apart from a 321 disposal effort in his milestone match against Hawthorn in Launceston he was well below his best in most games and frequently looked uncomfortable before he and the club called a stop to the season after he injured the shoulder again against Sydney at Metricon Stadium in round 19.

The delayed start to the pre-season, and the fact that the club is not ready to set a date for him to resume full training is a concern for a midfield that will be minus Adam Cerra in 2022 after he sought and was granted a trade to Carlton, but the Dockers have brought in some big-bodied midfield cover with Will Brodie one of the players traded in.

Fyfe had a busy social calendar on the weekend, at Rottnest on Saturday for former teammate Matt De Boer’s wedding, then being spotted at Lilac Hill on Sunday watching Ellyse Perry’s Sydney Sixers beat the Perth Scorchers.

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