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Surgery for AFL stars Pavlich and Thomas
18:53 AEST Thu Nov 22 2012

Fremantle AFL skipper Matthew Pavlich is expected to be fit for the club's NAB Cup campaign despite undergoing a procedure on his back in hospital on Thursday.

And Collingwood have put Dale Thomas and Tyson Goldsack in for ankle operations after a period of rest failed to fix their problem.

Pavlich underwent surgery on his hip and Achilles tendon following his gruelling 2012 campaign, but the club says his latest setback isn't considered serious.

"At this stage, we envisage that it will have little impact on Matthew's pre-season training and (we) expect him to be right to play during the NAB Cup," Fremantle football operations manager Chris Bond said.

West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui, who will undergo groin surgery next week, will also have a delayed start to his pre-season training campaign, as will Collingwood duo Goldsack and Thomas.

Goldsack underwent surgery this week and Thomas will go under the knife on Friday, with the pair not expected to return to training until the new year.

"The assessment at the end of the season was that a long spell from playing and training - a break - was going to have them all clear for the start of pre-season training," Collingwood football director Geoff Walsh said.

"But they've come back and discovered through training that they're still being troubled.

"So we've decided to have them both operated on ASAP."

Thomas hurt his ankle in round 15 and missed a game three weeks later.

Despite clearly being below his best at times, the midfielder played out the season and kicked three goals in the semi-final win over West Coast.

Goldsack enjoyed a strong season in his new role as a defensive forward, but was hurt in round 19.

He missed three of Collingwood's last seven matches.