Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says veterans Matthew Pavlich and Aaron Sandilands have been training harder that anyone at the club over the past month to ensure they are able to have an immediate impact on their return from injury.
Pavlich (Achilles) and Sandilands (hamstring) are both in line to return for the Dockers in their clash against St Kilda at Patersons Stadium on Sunday.
Speaking at his weekly media conference this morning, Lyon said both would train fully today and Friday and should be cleared to play out the entire game.
“They've been the equivalent of four weeks of our heaviest pre-season load. So up over 30km a week for four week,” he said.
“High sprint, high intensity, high physical work.
“So we certainly know they're conditioned for AFL football.
“We’d prefer them to impact straight away but we live in the real world don’t we?
“I don't think it's going to be perfect but we’ve got to start somewhere.”
Injured midfielder David Mundy (calf), Michael Barlow (jaw) and defender Lee Spurr (illness) are also likely to play in a result which should see the fifth-placed Dockers field their strongest side this season.
Mundy was not sighted on the training track this morning, but ran strongly yesterday and remains a strong chance to play.
It is a welcome change from the weekend’s 41-point loss to Geelong which saw the Club field three players with less than three games experience.
While the young Dockers were clearly outmatched by the Cats, Lyon said they would still take plenty of lessons from the heavy loss.
“You learn more out of your losses, last year it was Collingwood, this year Hawthorn and now the Cats,” he said.
“We feel we can take a lot of lessons out of it and build.
“Our aim is to play the Cats again and teams like that at the end of the year, that's our aim.
“We get a lot of learning out of it, we can't fix it all this week but we can build it in over the next eight or nine weeks.
“Our aim is obviously to play finals but we've still got some work to do.”