Fremantle's woes to start the season will extend into Gather Round after the club confirmed key forward Matt Taberner has been sidelined with a back injury.

The Dockers have revealed Taberner has sustained a "disc issue" in his back that arose after Saturday's loss to the Crows, with the 29-year-old returning to Fremantle while the rest of the Round 4 playing squad remains in South Australia.

Fremantle will Gold Coast on Friday afternoon at Norwood Oval without Taberner, who could be sidelined for an extended period as the club looks to assess the ailment.

“Some bad news for Matt in that he woke up a bit sore post-match,” Dockers football boss Peter Bell said in a club injury update.

“He has had a scan and we are sending him back home for further investigation.

“He will be unavailable this week with a disc issue in his back.”

Fremantle could regain livewire forward Michael Frederick for their meeting with Gold Coast after the hampered Docker was sidelined for Round 4 with an eye injury.

While further assessment into Frederick's likely return timeframe is required, Bell is confident the South Australian will be fit to face the Suns.

“We are going to get some specialist advice tomorrow and we will have a much clearer picture then,” Bell said.

“We are really confident that Michael will be available.”

Veteran Nat Fyfe also remains under an injury cloud heading into Round 5 with a foot complaint, while defender Heath Chapman will miss close to a month with his calf issue.

The Dockers have revealed ruckman Liam Reidy will be sidelined for the coming weeks with an abdomen injury that was discovered ahead of Peel Thunder's season opener.