Injuries cause Dockers to suspend training at Optus Stadium

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Fremantle have temporarily suspended training sessions at Optus Stadium after Rory Lobb became the latest victim of the club’s lower-leg injury crisis.

Boom recruit Lobb will miss “an extended” period with a stress fracture in his right foot, joining fellow talls Matt Taberner (foot) and Alex Pearce (ankle) on the sidelines.

There is no timeline on the former Greater Western Sydney big man’s return. Taberner and Pearce are out for the rest of the season.

The Dockers usually train at Optus Stadium in the lead-up to home games, but will hold this week’s session elsewhere ahead of Saturday’s clash with Port Adelaide.

“Given the recent lower-leg and foot injuries to key talls, an assessment of training and medical assessment protocols will be conducted to ensure we are operating at best practice,” Dockers football manager Peter Bell said.

West Coast have also had a horror run of foot problems in the past two seasons since moving to Optus Stadium.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson voiced his frustrations after the round five loss to the Power when Tom Barrass was forced to pull out with a foot injury, blaming the stadium’s turf.

Barrass hasn’t played since and is still two to three weeks away from returning.

Both clubs were banned from training at Optus Stadium for three weeks last year after serious leg injuries to West Coast youngsters Liam Ryan (ankle) and Daniel Venables (ankle), Fremantle pair Bradley Hill (knee) and Taberner (foot), plus Geelong’s Nakia Cockatoo (knee) and Cam Guthrie (ankle).

Sydney forward Lance Franklin also missed several weeks with a bruised heel after his eight-goal performance in the first AFL match at the venue, causing coach John Longmire to criticise the surface.

Fremantle midfielder Reece Conca has backed forgotten big man Sean Darcy to step up in the absence of Lobb.

Veteran Aaron Sandilands is still some way off resuming after a long-term calf problem, meaning Darcy is the likely inclusion against Port’s twin towers Paddy Ryder and Scott Lycett.

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