AFL: double injury blow for Dockers as Ballantyne and Apeness ruled out for lengthy periods

Hayden Ballantyne walks to the change rooms with the team physio after injuring his hamstring during the JLT Community Series AFL match against Carlton last Friday. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Hayden Ballantyne walks to the change rooms with the team physio after injuring his hamstring during the JLT Community Series AFL match against Carlton last Friday. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

FREMANTLE has been dealt a double injury blow on the eve of the 2017 season with two forwards expected to spend lengthy stints watching from the stands.

Hayden Ballantyne will undergo surgery after scans revealed tendon damage in his left hamstring, while teammate Michael Apeness injured his left knee playing for Peel over the weekend.

Ballantyne suffered the injury during the third quarter of Fremantle’s 21-point win over Carlton on Friday.

Football operations manager Chris Bond said the small forward’s rehabilitation would take place over eight to 10 weeks.

“Once the rehabilitation process is completed and given Hayden’s strong pre-season, we expect him to make a significant contribution on his return to football,” he said.

If Ballantyne is out of action for the full ten weeks, his return to AFL action could be in Fremantle’s round 10 clash with the Crows at Adelaide Oval.

Tall forward Michael Apeness is also expected to spend at least six weeks on the sideline after injuring his left knee playing in a practice match against West Perth.

The 22-year-old suffered a tear in his posterior cruciate ligament.

Fortunately he will not require surgery but will wear a knee brace.