Fremantle have confirmed Nat Fyfe’s long-awaited AFL return, with the skipper named at half-forward for the Dockers.
The two-time Brownlow medallist has spent more than 10 months on the sidelines, overcoming multiple surgeries on his troublesome shoulder and back.
But after getting through his Peel Thunder debut unscathed, Fyfe will play his first AFL game of season 2022.
The 30-year-old is joined by a fellow All-Australian in Michael Walters and forward Sam Switkowski as Freo’s inclusions up forward.
The talented trio replaced Darcy Tucker (omitted), Lloyd Meek (omitted), Michael Frederick (suspension) and Mitch Crowden (medical-sub).
Bailey Banfield has retained his place in Fremantle’s starting line-up after a breakout four goal performance against Brisbane.
While the versatile Griffin Logue has been named in defence after spending the past fortnight up forward.
Josh Treacy has been named emergency alongside Tucker, Crowden and Meek with one to be named medical sub before the match.
Despite playing almost exclusively through the midfielder in the WAFL, Fyfe is set to split his time between the middle and attack against the Hawks.
“Clearly, he played a lot of time through the midfield in the WAFL on the weekend so his role will be a mixture of the two areas,” senior coach Justin Longmuir said earlier in the week.
“He’s played a lot of footy for us over the past couple of years. He knows the system we play to.
“He’s been open and willing to play in any role we need him. A lot of people forget he’s our captain as well, so we’re really looking forward to getting him back in the team and back to his best.”
The game pits third against 13th with the 9-3 Fremantle looking to close out a strong start to the season ahead of their round 14 bye.
Hawthorn have recalled Sam Frost, Jack Scrimshaw and Jackson Callow but have lost Connor Macdonald (Omitted), Mitch Lewis (Injured), Jack Gunston (Injured) and Jarman Impey (Managed).