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Michael Johnson ruled out of AFL finals

Fremantle has received some bad news on the eve of the AFL finals with key defender Michael Johnson ruled out of the finals campaign with a back injury.

Johnson consulted a specialist today and was advised to undergo exploratory surgery.

"Michael played out Saturday's game under some discomfort," general manager of football operations Chris Bond said.

"We were hopeful that it could be treated and he would be able to play during our finals' campaign but the medical advice we now have is that there are no other treatment options available and an operation was considered the only appropriate course of action.

Johnson will have surgery this week and joins fellow key defender Luke McPharlin on the sidelines, with third tall Alex Silvagni also in doubt.