Nat Fyfe is out of Fremantle’s team to face Sydney on Saturday night, in a huge blow for the Dockers as they seek to end a four-match losing streak.
Fremantle revealed Fyfe had spent time in hospital this week to treat an infection in his right elbow.
“Nat required a short stay in hospital to treat an infection in his right elbow via an antibiotic drip,” Dockers football manager Peter Bell said.
“Unfortunately, due to the recovery period required, Nat will not be available to play against Sydney on Saturday.
“Our medical staff will continue to monitor Nat’s progress to determine a return to playing time frame as soon as possible.”
But scans have cleared veteran ruckman Aaron Sandilands of a calf strain and the 36-year-old will return to the team as the Dockers field Sandilands, Sean Darcy and Rory Lobb together for the first time.
Fremantle made four changes in all, with Taylin Duman, Griffin Logue and Brett Bewley joining Sandilands as inclusions.
Travis Colyer, Ryan Nyhuis and Ethan Hughes have all been dropped.
Stephen Hill was also named a day after Lyon said he had experienced soreness in his quad after his latest comeback in Launceston last weekend.
Fyfe has missed just one match this season, with concussion keeping him out of Fremantle’s derby loss to West Coast in Round 4.