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AFL 2016 NAB Challenge - Fremantle v Geelong

The Dockers are unlikely to rest Matthew Pavlich this early in the season, says David Mundy

Matthew has got a whole lot of work under his belt

FREMANTLE skipper David Mundy says there should be no concerns over star trio Matthew Pavlich, Nat Fyfe and Michael Johnson heading into Sunday's clash with the Western Bulldogs after all three were on limited duties at training on Wednesday.

Pavlich did a running session away from the main group in the early part of training at Fremantle Oval while Fyfe and Johnson only made brief appearances on the track. 

Mundy said all three were set to play against the Bulldogs in the Dockers' season opener. 

Luckless Docker Morabito back in the running

"I'm not entirely sure of individual programs but I wouldn't be too concerned with not seeing guys training," Mundy said. 

The Freo captain was probed on Pavlich after coach Ross Lyon told Channel Seven on Tuesday night that there was a slim chance he might not travel to Melbourne as the Dockers look to manage his playing schedule this year. 

But Mundy said that was unlikely to happen in round one.

"I don't think we'll start strategically thinking like that this early in the year," Mundy said. 

"Matthew has got a whole lot of work under his belt. He might have had a bit of a (de-loading session) today to really pop into the weekend. But I'm sure he's fine.

"I noticed he didn't train with us today but it's a long week and we're going to have three cracks at it. I guess Friday (training) will tell a bit more of a tale." 

The Dockers are already set to be without star ruckman Aaron Sandilands as he is serving a one-match suspension from a rough conduct charge out of the NAB Challenge.

They have also lost star recruit Harley Bennell for at least a couple of weeks due to a calf injury. 

But Mundy backed Jon Griffin to step up into the No.1 ruck role this weekend in Sandilands' absence. 

"We're a little bit spoilt with options with Jon Griffin being the back-up who could quite potentially be the No.1 ruckman at a couple of different clubs," Mundy said.

"We saw at the back end of last year, he really came in and gave it his all and he's a big aggressive man so it's fantastic to have him in there."

Zac Clarke is set to partner Griffin this week. Clarke is headed into his eighth season at AFL level without really establishing himself as a first-choice player. He has played 88 games overall but managed just 14 last season before losing his place to Griffin late in the year. 

Mundy said he had seen signs that Clarke could step up again in 2016.

"He's got a lot of potential and I think we've seen him slowly grow but we'd like to him to really excel," Mundy said. 

"Obviously he's been a bit of a slow burn as most big guys are and we've seen it in patches. It's probably just a bit more about his consistency.

Mundy said his side needed to be on guard against an "electric" Bulldogs outfit this week.