Aaron Sandilands will not play against Carlton unless he is completely cleared of the concussion he suffered against North Melbourne three weeks ago, according to Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe.
The 211cm ruckman had to be helped from the field in round 10 after a heavy collision with Kangaroo Sam Durdin at Optus Stadium.
He was ruled out of the following week’s game against Collingwood, then was pulled from the squad to face Adelaide last Friday, having failed his cognitive state test by what coach Ross Lyon termed a “wide margin”.
Clubs in general are taking a more cautious approach to concussions follow research into the injury’s long-term effects over the past few years.
Fyfe, who will return from suspension this week and play his 150th game, said the situation was no different at the Dockers.
“The doctors here and the players are really starting to take concussion a lot more seriously with all the studies and the research done around it. It’s not like it was five years ago,” Fyfe told 7 News Perth.
“Until he’s ready to play and he feels comfortable himself, plus passes all the KPIs, he won’t put his hand up for selection.
“But we’re hopeful he’ll be available this week.”
Sandilands’ potential selection comes in the same week Western Bulldogs premiership hero Liam Picken opened up about his own struggles with concussion.
Picken is sidelined indefinitely following a string of concussions and this week took to social media to give an insight into its effects.
“Because it’s an injury with symptoms less visible to others unlike breaking a leg etc, it’s hard for others to understand what you’re going through. In fact, it can be a lonely and dark road to travel,” he said on Twitter.
“One of the hardest aspects of post concussion syndrome is not knowing when you’ll get better. People still ask what’s going on with me or why I’m not playing yet. And although it’s been made clear to me that I’m on the road to full health, the timeline is unclear.
“I just want to encourage anyone that may have been hit, suffered concussion and doesn’t feel 100% to speak up and seek help.”