Freo tagger may be out of touch

HIS 12-month suspension ends on Thursday but Fremantle is unlikely to rush veteran tagger Ryan Crowley back for Friday night's preliminary final against Hawthorn in Perth.

The 31-year-old (pictured) was banned for 12 months last September after testing positive to a specified substance under the AFL's Anti-Doping Code.

He has been able to train at the club for the past two months but coach Ross Lyon said it was unrealistic to expect Crowley could step into the finals furnace against the Hawks.

"Ryan will tell you he is ready and right to do the job," Lyon said.

"We've had a few injuries, does that open it up? Possibly. Run wouldn't be an issue for Ryan, it would just be his touch.

"It'd be a tough ask."

Lyon also said key defender Luke McPharlin (calf) was unlikely to play.

"If he surprises and got up, we'd pick him, obviously, but he's unlikely," the coach said. "(The injury) has just come on during one of the weeks, which is really disappointing because we thought we had him fit and healthy."

The news with fellow defender Michael Johnson (flu) and star midfielder Nat Fyfe (leg) was better for the Dockers, with Lyon saying both were certain to be selected.

Forward Matt Taberner is also expected to be named in the side to give Fremantle another tall marking option in attack. He was named in the qualifying final team against Sydney but was a late withdrawal when wet weather was expected.

Forward Jack Gunston (ankle) remains Hawthorn's main injury concern.


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