PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 25: Joel Hamling of the Dockers looks to pass the ball during the round 23 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Luckless Fremantle defender Joel Hamling is believed to be left frustrated with the club after suffering a further setback in recovering from a troubled ankle injury, reports AFL’s Mitch Cleary.

Hamling, who dislocated his left ankle in February, is seeking external help to speed up his recovery after remaining on the sidelines despite having undergone two separate surgeries on his ankle.

The 27-year-old departed the Dockers’ Gold Coast hub in late June to have a Melbourne orthopaedic surgeon treat his ankle, with the surgeon soon having to turn away Hamling due to the ankle being infected.

The ongoing frustrations are believed to have damaged Hamling’s relationship with the club.

Hamling returned to Perth, where his teammates eventually flew home in July, and has since been told to hold back on exercising for six weeks.

The Bulldogs premiership defender is hoping to undergo corrective surgery in Melbourne in the coming weeks, but may have trouble being granted an exemption past the Victorian border.

Hamling’s agent Colin Young has previously shown his outrage with the club publicly, with his client and former Docker Shane Kersten forced to leave the club after an ongoing foot injury.

“Shane and the club will part ways at the end of the week amicably and Shane will do his rehab under a different set of eyes,” Young told The West Australian in July last year.

“I have serious concerns on how the club rehabilitates its players (and) it’s my opinion that this area of the club needs an immediate review.

“Immediate changes need to be made or the club is going nowhere.”

Hamling’s injury comes amidst a crisis at the Dockers, with stars Michael Walters and Nat  Fyfe having to spend weeks on the sidelines due to soft-tissue injuries.

The absence of the Dockers key-backman has also put a strain on the teams defence, with fellow defenders Alex Pearce (ankle), Hayden Young (ankle) and Griffin Logue (toe) all sidelined for the remainder of the season.