Star Fremantle defender Joel Hamling to return to Dockers training next week after ankle injury ruined 2020

The West Australian
Joel Hamling will be back at Dockers training on Monday.
Camera IconJoel Hamling will be back at Dockers training on Monday. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Fremantle defender Joel Hamling will be back at training next week after missing the entire 2020 with an ankle injury.

Injured defender Joel Hamling watches on at training.
Camera IconInjured defender Joel Hamling watches on at training. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Hamling was one of a number of Dockers defenders to spend much of last season sidelined, alongside Alex Pearce, Nathan Wilson and Hayden Young.

But in some good news for the 27-year-old, he’ll join the club’s youngsters as they return for pre-season on Monday.

“The good news is Joel Hamling will be joining the first to four year players in December,” Fremantle footy boss Peter Bell said.

“He missed the entire year with an ankle injury and it’s been incredibly challenging for Joel when you take into account the severity, the fact that he’s been left back here in Western Australia at times to rehab with a small team.”

Hamling played all 22 games for the Dockers in 2019 before he dislocated his ankle in February.

Despite two surgeries, Hamling struggled in his recovery and was reportedly left frustrated by his ongoing injury disruptions.

Hamling has played 62 games for the Dockers since crossing from the Western Bulldogs, where he was part of the 2016 premiership.

Bell said Hamling would be joined by Young back at training on Monday, while Pearce was ready to return with the senior group post-Christmas.

Joel Hamling missed the entire 2020 season due to an ankle injury.
Camera IconJoel Hamling missed the entire 2020 season due to an ankle injury. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Media

Taylin Duman and Sam Sturt are both on track after surgery in the post-season, Bell confirmed.

In more good news for the club, WA’s softening border restrictions has ensured the club’s interstate players can return home for Christmas.

“It’s always been the intention that we encourage our interstate players to go home, whether there was going to be quarantine upon their return or not,” Bell said.

“We’re very hopeful now, that with the strict borders coming down, they will be able to stay longer with their families and re-join us in early January.”

Fremantle’s second to fourth year players will commence pre-season training on Monday.

The club’s five-year plus players will return early in the new year.

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