Justin Longmuir: Fremantle pair touch and go for Port Adelaide clash, door ajar for draftee’s 2022 return

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Jordan McArdleThe West Australian
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Michael Walters is touch and go to play this weekend.
Camera IconMichael Walters is touch and go to play this weekend. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir says both Michael Walters and Heath Chapman will be “touch and go” against Port Adelaide at Optus Stadium on Sunday.

Walters (calf) missed the loss to Carlton at Marvel Stadium on Saturday and rising star Chapman (hamstring) hasn’t played since the round 11 win over Melbourne.

“They’ll both put their hands up for selection, hopefully, if they get through main training,” Longmuir told 7NEWS Perth.

“We’re really confident that if they miss this week, they’ll be back next week (against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on July 9) so it’s probably a bit touch and go with both of them at this stage.”

The door is ajar for first-year forward Jye Amiss to make a late-season comeback from a significant kidney injury.

Amiss recently returned to the club after surgery as contract talks resume to keep the young gun at the club beyond his initial two-year draft deal.

The West Australian understands discussions progressed between Dockers and Amiss’ manager, Paul Peos of Inside 50, during the recent bye round after they were put on hold while he recovered from the nasty injury, sustained while playing for the club’s WAFL affiliate Peel Thunder against South Fremantle on May 21.

“We’re going to give him the opportunity to play again this year and his rehab will replicate that,” Longmuir said.

“We want to give him every chance to go through a really good rehabilitation process and get his body right and if he does that and has a little bit of luck along the way, there is a chance that he’ll play towards the end of the year.”

Longmuir wasn’t using captain Nat Fyfe’s integration back into the midfield as an excuse for his team’s “off” performance against the Blues, despite admitting there’s some work to do.

Fyfe was playing his second game of the season in the 31-point loss after back and shoulder issues.

“It’s probably about being more clear on everyone’s individual roles and they’ve changed a little bit since Fyfey has been back in the midfield so we’ll keep doing some work on that,” Longmuir said.

Jye Amiss has not ruled out returning in 2022.
Camera IconJye Amiss has not ruled out returning in 2022. Credit: Paul Kane/via AFL Photos

“But that wasn’t an excuse for the performance on the weekend.

“We just weren’t proactive, we were reactive and we allowed Carlton to get on the front foot in the middle of the ground and they dominated us through that area.”

Longmuir said winger Blake Acres (hamstring) was still a couple of weeks away from returning but was making good progress.

He confirmed midfielder Darcy Tucker was due to have surgery in Melbourne on Tuesday to repair a fractured finger on his right hand but was upbeat he wouldn’t be out for too long.

“He got a broken hand out of the WAFL on the weekend which is disappointing, he had a really good first half and just hurt that hand before half-time,” Longmuir said.

“He’ll go into surgery today in Melbourne and hopefully it doesn’t cost him too many weeks, at this stage it only looks like it’s going to be short term so that’s a good result out of a bad situation.”

Heath Chapman is also a chance to return.
Camera IconHeath Chapman is also a chance to return. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

Longmuir expects a tough challenge from the in-form Power who have turned things around from a 0-5 start to be one game out of the top eight.

“They’re playing a really good brand of footy, I think they’ve won seven of their last nine games so their form has definitely turned around and it’s going to be a really good challenge for us on Sunday,” Longmuir said.

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