Nat Fyfe has recovered from a broken leg.
Nat Fyfe has recovered from a broken leg. JULIAN SMITH

Nat Fyfe still not at his best, says Garry Lyon

NAT Fyfe may be back. But he's not back to his best, according to Melbourne champion Garry Lyon.

The 2015 Brownlow Medal winner has played every game this season, after a broken leg derailed his 2016 campaign.

Without Fyfe - as well as ruckman Aaron Sandilands (punctured lung) - the Dockers slumped from minor premiers to 16th.

While Fyfe's return has coincided with Fremantle's ascension up the ladder this year, Lyon told SEN he hadn't reached the dizzying heights that once earned him the game's highest individual honour.

Fyfe has won the fifth-most contested possessions in 2017, but he has also recorded the most clangers of any player in the competition.

"He's going okay. He's not anywhere near the player he was two years ago,” Lyon said.

In particular, Lyon suggested Fyfe's propensity to handball limited the impact he was having this season.

Against Collingwood on Sunday he went via hand 10 more times than he did via foot, gaining a miserly 169 metres.

"Yesterday he was in their best half dozen probably,” Lyon said on Monday.

"He doesn't kick the footy enough for me, Nat Fyfe.

"When he was at his best he may have kicked it more, it's hard to remember.”

The signature of Fyfe has become one of the most coveted in the AFL.

The 25-year-old - who becomes a restricted free agent at the end of 2017 - has been linked to a number of Victorian-based clubs that are keen to add some class to their midfield.

But Lyon questioned the extent of that class, and whether or not Fyfe's matchwinning ability was still in tact.

"When you get your midfielders like (Adam) Treloar, (Scott) Pendlebury and those blokes who create by foot ... they have a bigger impact on the game,” Lyon said.

"I mean he works his backside off and does brilliant things which remind you how great he was. He's a level below where he was.”