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Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe adding bulk

Nathan Schmook  January 25, 2013 4:27 PM

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Nat Fyfe is back to work after shoulder surgery

I'm as confident as you can be coming off two surgeries
FREMANTLE midfielder Nat Fyfe has returned to full training with a bulked up 89kg frame, confident that his reconstructed left shoulder can hold up for a full season in 2013.

The star 21-year-old, who missed 12 games last season following a second shoulder reconstruction, has been carefully managed through Fremantle's pre-season so far.

However, he completed most of Friday's gruelling two-and-a-half-hour session at Fremantle Oval and declared he was ready to step up his training load three weeks out from the NAB Cup.

"I'm back up to a level of fitness where I'm ready to step into full training and really be valuable," Fyfe said on Friday.  

"I made a pretty good progression today and did most of the session.

"Next week I'll look to take part in most of the sessions.

"I'm as confident as you can be coming off two [shoulder] surgeries … I've done all the work I can, so it shouldn't be a problem."

Fyfe, who said he was aiming to play multiple NAB Cup games, entered the AFL at 74kg in 2010 and played last season at 85-86kg.

After another pre-season adding size, the contested-ball specialist said he had reached his optimum weight.

"This year is a little bit about getting to know what it's like playing at 89kg and if I need a little bit more next year then I can always go up," he said.

"I don't want to be too heavy so I lose that run.

"At the moment I'm pretty comfortable with it. The jump hasn't been that significant that it's noticeable.

"Hopefully I'll be able to stand up in packs a little bit better this year."

Star ruckman Aaron Sandilands missed Friday's training session after undergoing a minor personal procedure on Thursday night, but he will return on Monday, a Fremantle spokesperson said.

Club champion Ryan Crowley was also absent as he continues his recovery from a torn pectoral muscle, while midfielder Lachie Neale watched from the sidelines after experiencing signs of heatstroke on Monday.

Fyfe said Fremantle's young midfielders had impressed this pre-season and the group would add depth in 2013, with Cam Sutcliffe the standout so far.   

"They're obviously taking strong note from guys like [Stephen] Hill and David Mundy and really learning quickly," he said.

"I think Cam Sutcliffe, his running ability is first class and his ball-hunting ability is one of his skills.

"If he can just add a bit of polish to his game he's going to be an elite player in the future."

Nathan Schmook is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Nathan