FREMANTLE’S hopes of covering the loss of Lachie Neale have been dealt a huge blow after Connor Blakely was struck down by a serious hamstring injury.
Blakely injured his right hamstring following an innocuous bump during a contest at training on Friday and will see a surgeon this week to determine whether surgery is required.
Scans on Saturday confirmed a high-grade tear with damage to an internal tendon in the muscle, not the tendon that attaches the muscle to the bone.
Fremantle football operations manager Peter Bell said the early prognosis was that Blakely would miss around 12-14 weeks of action.
That means the 22-year-old is unlikely to return until round seven at the earliest.
Blakely played predominantly across half back last season, averaging 23.8 disposals per game before a knee injury ended his campaign in round 13.
The departure of Neale to Brisbane meant Blakely was set to play a significant role in the midfield this season.
But the injury has robbed Fremantle of that option for the first part of the season.
“It’s obviously disappointing for both Connor and the football club, but we are confident he will be able to return in the first half of the season and have an impact,” Bell said.
© AAP 2019