Fremantle Dockers midfielder Connor Blakely to miss remainder of AFL season with derby hamstring injury

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Jackson BarrettSouth Western Times
Connor Blakely.
Camera IconConnor Blakely. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos

Connor Blakely’s AFL season looks done and dusted, with the Fremantle Dockers confirming the Bunbury product will miss at least the next week with a hamstring injury.

Blakely picked up the injury late in the second quarter of the Dockers’ derby victory over West Coast at the weekend, and was substituted out of the game at half time.

The club’s general manager of football operations Joe Brierty confirmed Blakely would miss this Sunday’s clash with St Kilda in Hobart, and was unlikely to feature if the Dockers were to make the finals.

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“It is really unfortunate for Connor, he has obviously been plying his trade this year and has got an opportunity in the 22 after playing as the sub a few times,” he said.

“Unfortunately he suffered that hamstring injury in the second quarter, so he will miss this weekend and potentially a few weeks.”

For Blakely to return at all this season, it is likely the Dockers would need to defeat St Kilda on Sunday, but also see West Coast and Essendon lose, before making a deep finals run of their own.

His chances of a return have also been dashed by the AFL’s decision to scrap the pre-finals bye, in favour of holding it over until later in the finals series.

The former Bunbury Bulldog spent the season on the fringes of Justin Longmuir’s side, coming on as a medical substitute eight times — the most of any player in the competition.

He finishes the year with 13 appearances to his name, taking his career total to 78, having played just five of the club’s 17 games in 2020.

It is also the first time he has finished a season with a winning record (7-6), having played more than five games.

Connor Blakely.
Camera IconConnor Blakely. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

His best showing for the season came in the club’s surprise victory over Richmond a fortnight ago, during which he had 17 disposals with 94 per cent disposal efficiency.

In his last three appearances, he was used in a slightly different role, employed more as an outside midfielder than a centre bounce weapon.

He also played six games for Peel Thunder, averaging an impressive 25.3 disposals per game and kicking two goals for the WAFL club.

Trade speculation surrounding the 26-year-old was rife last year after he found himself on the outer, but he has contract which ties him to the club until the end of next season.

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