Dockers' Bennell injures calf again

Harley Bennell has played two AFL games for Fremantle since joining from Gold Coast in late 2015.
Harley Bennell has played two AFL games for Fremantle since joining from Gold Coast in late 2015.

Harley Bennell's bid to return to the AFL early this season has taken a hit after the Fremantle midfielder suffered yet another calf injury.

Bennell strained his calf at pre-season training last week and will now have his loads reduced in a bid to allow him to recover from the latest setback.

The 26-year-old has been plagued by calf issues since joining Fremantle at the end of 2015, notching just two AFL games over that period.

Bennell failed to play a single AFL game last season and was considered lucky in some quarters to be handed a fresh one-year deal.

Dockers coach Ross Lyon was hopeful Bennell would be able to overcome his calf issues this year to play a forward role.

But his latest setback means Bennell will be behind the eight ball when Fremantle's AFL season commences on March 24 against North Melbourne.

Bennell hit the headlines during the Christmas period when he was asked to leave a Perth pub because he was too drunk.

It was the latest in a long list of off-field misdemeanours for the former Gold Coast star.

Australian Associated Press