Aaron Sandilands is set to play his first game of the season but it may not be for the Dockers
THREE-time All Australian Aaron Sandilands has declared he will play some form of football this weekend, having spent the first 14 rounds on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury.
Sandilands has not played for Fremantle since last season's semi-final loss to Adelaide, after suffering a partial tear of his hamstring tendon during the pre-season.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has suggested that Sandilands, Matthew Pavlich, David Mundy and Michael Barlow will all return
for the Dockers clash with St Kilda on Sunday.
Sandilands has not been told he would play for Fremantle, but he has confirmed he will play football the week.
"I've been told I'll come back in some form this weekend," Sandilands said on Tuesday.
"Whether it's for Freo or East Fremantle (in the WAFL), I'm not too sure but hopefully it's for Fremantle in front of a big home crowd.
"It's been a long time since I've played a game of footy.
"I've got a fair block of training under my belt now.
"So I'm working towards getting through the two main sessions this week and it would be nice to run out in front of a packed home crowd and pull the purple jumper back on."
Lyon has preached patience and caution with Sandilands all season.
The 2009 best and fairest winner felt he was fit to play last weekend but was glad he was held back despite being unable to help the Dockers in their loss against Geelong.
"The club takes a no risk policy and unless you're 100 per-cent ready to go, you don't play," Sandilands said.
"I thought I was pretty close last week but the club opted to get another solid week of training and volume under my belt and in hindsight I agree with it.
"It's probably helped and it will put us in good stead when I do return."
Sandilands had no reservations playing AFL straight away despite such a long lay off.
"I'm pretty confident that the body will definitely hold up," Sandilands said.
"The fitness guys worked out some of the things we could do in terms of what I do in a game. There's a lot of wrestling involved in being a ruckman.
"So we did a fair amount of that style of training, which is pretty taxing, and also getting the kilometres running around."
Sandilands said that he and Pavlich had been helping each through the lengthy rehabilitation process for their respective injuries.
"We've been a great support for each other," Sandilands said.
"We've both got young daughters and we haven't been getting much sleep.
"We've been two grumpy old men at the club at the moment.
"Pav's training the house down and I'm pretty sure he's ready to rumble."