Docker Crowley in AFL injury scare
Justin Chadwick
19:20 AEST Wed Aug 22 2012

A tweaked ankle to Fremantle tagger Ryan Crowley could spell good news for North Melbourne's midfielders ahead of Sunday's crunch AFL clash at Etihad Stadium.

Crowley limped off the training track on Wednesday after injuring his ankle.

The Dockers are confident the 28-year-old will be fit to tackle the Roos, but Crowley will face further assessment later this week to determine his availability.

Crowley has established himself as one of the competition's premier taggers this year, with his list of victims including Chris Judd, Scott Thompson, Luke Shuey and Brett Deledio.

The 190cm veteran is in line to get the job on either Brent Harvey, Andrew Swallow or Daniel Wells this Sunday in a match that could make or break Fremantle's finals hopes.

Dockers defender Luke McPharlin conceded it would be a big blow if Crowley was forced to miss the match.

"He's certainly up there as one of our most valuable players," McPharlin told reporters on Wednesday.

"He's been able to shut down some key midfielders throughout the season.

"If you have a player who can do that, it certainly holds you in good stead through a game."

Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich, who has battled tightness in his hamstring and Achilles tendon in recent weeks, failed to hit the training track on Wednesday.

But McPharlin was confident the 276-game veteran would find a way to front up against the 'Roos.

"Pav's a pretty strong-minded individual. We know regardless of little niggles or soreness that he'll have through the week, he'll always manage to get himself up," McPharlin said.

"It would have to be something pretty major for him not to play."

Dockers duo Nat Fyfe (ankle) and Tendai Mzungu (shoulder) are others in some doubt due to injury.

Wells, who missed North Melbourne's win over Collingwood due to a calf injury, remains in the hunt to return against the Dockers.

Should Fremantle (12-8) lose to the Kangaroos (13-7), Carlton (11-9) can send the Dockers tumbling out of the top-eight with a win over lowly Gold Coast.

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