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Pavlich says Dockers playing 'no risk' with Sandi

AFL 2014 First Semi Final - Fremantle v Port Adelaide
Aaron Sandilands' no-show at training is just a case of caution from the physios, says Matthew Pavlich
He's such an important player to us and there's no point risking him now
Matthew Pavlich on Aaron Sandilands

ALL AUSTRALIAN ruckman Aaron Sandilands missed Fremantle's training session on Wednesday due to minor back complaint, but the Dockers say they are merely being cautious with the veteran. 

Sandilands was conspicuous by his absence but captain Matthew Pavlich said Sandilands’ injury was not serious.

"He's just had a couple of little issues over the past week," Pavlich said. 

"There's so many stringent tests these days that you have to pass to get out on the training track, so he's just failed a couple of those with the physios and the docs.

Always another Hill to climb for Freo star

"He's running, he's moving well but they're still just holding him back on one or two things.

"He's such an important player to us and there's no point risking him now. He could easily go out there and train but they're just managing his workload because of those tests."

Michael Walters, Max Duffy, Tendai Mzungu and youngster Josh Deluca remained in the gym during the whole session.

Michael Johnson (back), Colin Sylvia (ankle) and Anthony Morabito (knee) continue their rehab away from the main squad.

Danyle Pearce and Zac Dawson were also absent from the track.

The Dockers completed a two-hour long session in brutal 37-degree heat at Fremantle Oval.

After plenty of ball movement drills the squad moved into 40 minutes worth of full ground match simulation.

Ruckmen Zac Clarke, Jonathon Griffin and Jack Hannath all worked against each other in the ruck in Sandilands' absence. 

Chris Mayne spent the majority of the match simulation in defence.

Mayne was the club's equal leading goalkicker in 2011 (with 25 goals) and finished second in both 2012 (39) and 2013 (37) but kicked just 13 majors last season.

He filled a defensive role in a couple of games last year due to injuries to key defenders in Johnson, Luke McPharlin, Garrick Ibbotson and Alex Silvagni.

McPharlin was pulled out of the match simulation to do some light running, as was rookie Tanner Smith. Clancee Pearce left the track early.

The Dockers announced their leadership group for 2015 on Wednesday with Pavlich named captain for the ninth consecutive year.