Dockers coach Lyon backs Hogan to return

Jesse Hogan will be fit for Fremantle at the start of next AFL season, coach Ross Lyon has declared.
Jesse Hogan will be fit for Fremantle at the start of next AFL season, coach Ross Lyon has declared.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has declared Jesse Hogan will be fit for the start of next season, and he's optimistic skipper Nat Fyfe will return for Sunday's crunch AFL clash with the Bulldogs.

Hogan will undergo season-ending surgery in the coming days after fracturing the navicular bone in his right foot for the second time in his career.

The 24-year-old also suffered the same injury while at Melbourne last year, with many experts wondering what impact the double blow will have on the rest of his career.

Foot fractures can be notoriously tricky to heal, and Hogan is expected to be sidelined for about 16 weeks following surgery.

Lyon was blunt when asked about the sad news of Hogan's latest setback.

"Sad? We're not saving babies' lives here," Lyon said.

"It's a navicular, we'll put a pin in, he'll rehab, and he'll be there round one.

"We'll support him and he'll get going. Let's not dramatise too much."

Fyfe missed Saturday night's one-point win over Sydney with an infected right elbow.

The 27-year-old, who underwent surgery on the elbow during the pre-season, needed to spend two nights in hospital during the week to treat the infection with an antibiotic drip.

Fyfe didn't attend Saturday's game, but Lyon is hopeful he'll get up for the game against the Bulldogs.

"We think Nathan will more than likely get up, but not a guarantee," Lyon said.

"It was an inflamed bursa, and the bursa was regrowing. For whatever reason it became infected and inflamed.

"They're not even sure why. It got serious quick. But rest assured ... we'll take no risk with Nathan. If he's not right, he won't play."

Fremantle entered Saturday's match on the back of a four-match losing streak and with massive question marks over the future of Lyon.

But the veteran coach did his best to play down the criticism that has come his way.

"What pressure? I think that's just what it is, outside talk," Lyon said.

"We've done so much right. We're a young, developing list.

"If people want to pile on, that's the business, that's what we sign up for but it doesn't wobble my intent and our coaches' intent and our players' intent.

"I'm not sure what all the hoopla is about, to be honest, but that's just the town we live in."

The Dockers (8-9) need to beat the Bulldogs to keep pace in the race for a top-eight berth.

Ruckman Rory Lobb is no guarantee to face the Dogs after suffering a partial dislocation of his shoulder during the win over Sydney.

Australian Associated Press