FREMANTLE coach Ross Lyon has complete confidence in his returning stars Matthew Pavlich and Aaron Sandilands playing a full game against St Kilda on Sunday despite the lengthy lay-offs both have endured.
Pavlich has not played since round three following surgery on the plantaris tendon in his left foot.
Sandilands has missed the entire season after injuring his hamstring tendon during the pre-season.
But Lyon was confident both would be able to manage a full game on Sunday at Patersons Stadium.
The star pair has been put through a rigorous training load over the past month to get them up to speed.
"They've been in the equivalent of four weeks of our heaviest pre-season load," Lyon said on Wednesday.
"So, up over 30km (running) a week for four weeks, which would be our heaviest load.
"High-sprint, high-intensity, high-physical work. So we certainly know they're conditioned for AFL football."
The Dockers are set to return as many as five players from injury or illness.
David Mundy has recovered from a calf problem that saw him miss the last two matches, Michael Barlow will be fit to play following minor surgery to his jaw last week and Lee Spurr will return after being a late withdrawal against Geelong due to illness.
Paul Duffield will miss the next two weeks with a calf issue, which means as many as four players could be dropped from the side that lost to Geelong by 41 points.
"There's obviously some bad news on the end of that for some individuals," Lyon said.
"But after our worst loss for the year, I think people expect to maybe not hold their spot.
"Those guys will have a tough week and we'll have to work through that as a match committee."
Lyon said the return of his stars would help boost his team's offence. The Dockers are the number one defence in the AFL but are 13th in scoring and managed just seven goals at Simonds Stadium last Saturday.
"Once we had the bye we were at 90 points average, and last year second half was 102," Lyon said.
"So we recognised we were two goals down that we needed to find and we’re confident that’s in us, but obviously the weekend didn't show that.
"Talk’s cheap. We need to keep improving it and at the end of the day we can improve our football program to train it so under pressure we can do it."
Lyon said his side had learned a great deal from their loss to Geelong.
"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 so we can handle the challenges that are thrown at us," Lyon said."Our aim is obviously to play finals but we've still got some work to do."