Luckless Fremantle midfielder Anthony Morabito makes his long-awaited return to football on Saturday.
Morabito hasn’t played since undergoing a third reconstruction of his left knee in January last year.
The 22-year-old has been carefully building his fitness and strength for more than a year and is set to play limited minutes in WAFL side Peel Thunder’s low-key practice clash with Perth in Mandurah.
“It will be good just to see him play and enjoy his footy. It’s a significant milestone of where he wants to get to,” Dockers coach Ross Lyon said.
Morabito announced himself as an AFL star of the future after playing 23 games in an impressive debut season in 2010.
But he has been riddled with bad luck since, with his left knee failing him on three occasions.
Morabito opted for traditional knee reconstructions in the first two instances, but opted for a hybrid LARS procedure when he ruptured his knee for a third time.
The explosive wingman will need to prove his fitness via an extended stint in the WAFL before being considered for an AFL recall.
High-profile recruit Colin Sylvia will also line up for Peel on Saturday, but the former Demon faces a battle to force his way into Fremantle’s best 22.
Sylvia has struggled to hit peak form and fitness since arriving at the Dockers at the end of last year, and he’s almost certain to start the year in the WAFL.