Colin Sylvia’s hopes of earning his Fremantle debut will have to wait at least another fortnight after the former Demon’s suspension by the WAFL tribunal.
Sylvia was found guilty of rough conduct on Tuesday night for his off-the-ball strike on Subiaco’s Brett Mahoney.
Last Friday, Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich pulled Sylvia aside to inform the 157-game veteran he was closing in on selection.
But Sylvia’s suspension means he will miss Saturday’s clash with Sydney at the SCG and next week’s home match against North Melbourne.
Sylvia has endured a topsy-turvy time since arriving at Fremantle as a free agent at the end of last year.
The 28-year-old battled for form during the pre-season, with the Dockers’ relentless work ethic catching him on the hop after spending 10 years at struggling Melbourne.
Pavlich, speaking before Sylvia’s punishment had been handed down, felt the veteran midfielder had made some important strides in recent weeks before his latest setback.
“He took some time to understand exactly how we do it here and what we stand for, but certainly, he’s bought into that and is going quite well,” Pavlich said.
“We felt he had developed and grown.
“It’s just disappointing to have a setback like that on the weekend.”
Fremantle forward Chris Mayne (ankle) remains a chance to return for Saturday’s game against the Swans while midfielder David Mundy (concussion) is another player who will have to prove his fitness.
The return of star midfielder Nat Fyfe from suspension comes at a perfect time for a Dockers outfit still missing the class of Michael Barlow (knee), Michael Walters (ankle) and Garrick Ibbotson (shoulder).
Walters will find out this week whether he requires surgery on his left ankle after suffering tendon damage in the round-three loss to Hawthorn.
Sydney sit in 13th spot after managing just one win from the opening four rounds.
Star recruit Lance Franklin has failed to fire thus far but Pavlich says it would be wrong to write off the Swans.
“Clearly the results haven’t gone their way but what we do know is they’ve got fantastic leaders and really talented players,” Pavlich said.
“We’re not going to fall for the story that Sydney aren’t going that well.”