Fremantle will welcome back several stars, including captain Matthew Pavlich, for tomorrow's NAB Cup game against the Western Bulldogs in Mandurah.
Forward Chris Mayne has recovered from an ankle injury and midfielders Stephen Hill and Michael Barlow return after being named in a near full-strength 27-man squad yesterday.
Defender Garrick Ibbotson was left out for the first time in the pre-season.
Young midfielder Tom Sheridan and key-position prospect Tanner Smith were both dropped from the side that was belted by Carlton last weekend, while Cameron Sutcliffe, Hayden Crozier, Jesse Crichton, Jayden Pitt and Lachie Neale have all been given chances to press their claims for round one.
In contrast, the Bulldogs named just four players with more than 35 games experience.
Pavlich trained at Fremantle Oval yesterday after celebrating the birth of his first child, Harper Rose, on Wednesday and coach Ross Lyon said the 31-year-old was ready for his first hit-out of the year.
"He is in really good nick," Lyon said. "He is ahead of schedule and we are thrilled to have him back."
Lyon said Pavlich would be managed but was likely to play most of the match. "There are some issues. We think the extreme heat policy will kick in," he said.
An AFL spokesman said yesterday the quarters would be shortened and breaks extended with a maximum of 33C forecast.
A decision on whether to allow six players on the interchange would be made closer to the game.
Lyon said the plan was to field a team as close as possible as that for the round-one western derby on March 23.
"We play those that are in good form and pushing for round one," he said. "It will be close (to the round-one team). You don't muck around much when you have got one to go."
But Lyon said the best 22 was far from set in stone. "We can't be settled (on the team) because it is in the future and I can't pick the team yet," he said.
"We have got to get through, there are lots of things that can happen in 30 seconds of footy. There are plenty of spots up for grabs."
Even a fit and firing Michael Walters was not guaranteed a place in the forward line.
"He is up and about but again he needs to secure his spot," Lyon said. "We have got a lot of talented small forwards and there are a few really pushing hard."Lyon said ruckman Aaron Sandilands' recovery from a hamstring injury was progressing well.
Do the Eagles get away with ducking when tackled?Vote
Do you have a story for us to investigate?
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.