Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich says his team's ability to mentally prepare will be as critical as its ability to physically recover as it faces back-to-back six-day breaks against Sydney and North Melbourne.
Pavlich, who will captain the Dockers for the 150th time against the Swans at the SCG on Saturday, also warned against underestimating them despite their scratchy 1-3 start to 2014.
Fremantle are also bracing for news that they will lose forward Michael Walters for the rest of the season.
Walters, who will have a surgeon in Melbourne analyse his injured left ankle today, will stay in Melbourne for season-ending surgery if he needs an operation. Sydney power forward Kurt Tippett is fit to resume from a knee injury, but may play in the NEAFL, while Pavlich said Fremantle forward Chris Mayne was progressing but yet to prove his fitness.
"He trained today, or at least ran today," Pavlich said.
"He will have to pull up from that and see how he is."
Fremantle were listless and trounced by Hawthorn when they came off a six-day break to face them in round three.
Pavlich was confident that his club's fitness staff would have the players physically ready for the Swans, but warned they had to get themselves mentally ready for a side that was likely to make a fierce response to its patchy early-season form.
"It is a combination of that physical recovery from a game that was challenging and then getting our minds ready for what is coming on the weekend," he said.
Pavlich said the Dockers retained plenty of respect for Sydney despite their tardy start.
"What we do know is that they have got fantastic leaders and talented players and we are not going to fall for 'oh Sydney aren't going that well'," he said.
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"It is a combination of that physical recovery from a game getting our minds ready "" *Matthew Pavlich *