Top guns back to Freo duty

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Michael Walters returns to Fremantle training. Pic: Danella Bevis
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Dynamic Fremantle duo Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters have returned to training, with Tendai Mzungu declaring the club is on track to go into round one with every player available.

The Dockers' first open session of the year yesterday revealed their injury list is shrinking dramatically three months out from the start of the season, with Zac Clarke (knee) and Garrick Ibbotson (shoulder) also joining the main group.

Fyfe joined training at Fremantle Oval for the first time since injuring his right shoulder during an International Rules practice match in November.

The reigning AFLPA MVP, who required surgery on the joint, took part in a few drills with the rest of the squad but spent most of the session working in a small group with Danyle Pearce and coaching staff. He is expected to progress to full contact work in the next few weeks.

Small forward Walters was the other welcome addition.

The 24-year-old, who missed much of last season with an ankle injury, was burning up the track in November but was barely sighted last month. He took part in most of yesterday's session.

Hayden Ballantyne appeared at training but went to the rooms early, while Anthony Morabito (knee) was seen returning from a boxing session. Michael Johnson (back) and Colin Sylvia (ankle) remained in the rehab group, while Zac Dawson and Ryan Crowley were unsighted.

Mzungu said it was pleasing to see some of the club's best players returning, with everyone expected to be ready for its round-one clash with Port Adelaide in April.

"I think everyone should be available and around the mark," he said.

Mzungu confirmed his reputation as the Dockers' strongest runner on Wednesday by taking out the club's second 3km time trial of the pre-season. He picked out Matt de Boer and rookie Jacob Ballard as others to impress. The Dockers have progressed to intense ball work earlier than usual this year in a bid to help close the gap on reigning premiers Hawthorn.

Mzungu said the pain of being knocked out of last year's finals series in straight sets was driving the squad to push themselves.

"Reality is we weren't good enough the last couple of years and we want to improve," he said.

"We don't really need to be told that we need to bridge the gap."

·Greater Western Sydney's Lachie Plowman will miss the start of the season after dislocating his left elbow, an injury that will take at least 12 weeks to heal.

I think everyone should be available ..."Tendai Mzungu

with AAP

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