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Calf strain sidelines injury-cursed Docker yet again

Freo speedster up and running Mitch Cleary and Riley Beveridge discuss Fremantle's pre-season.

INJURY-RAVAGED Fremantle midfielder Harley Bennell has suffered yet another calf strain, with no timeline on his return to the group.

The 26-year-old was hurt at training last Friday, with scans the following day confirming what the club said was a minor strain.

It comes on the heels of another recent setback which saw Bennell experience calf tightness during a training session.

Freo coach Ross Lyon recently told AFL.com.au the prodigiously talented West Australian was in promising shape.

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"He's on a program where we're building him up to three sessions a week. As he said, he's done more this year than he's done in four years – his body has allowed him to," Lyon said.

"He still hasn't been able to do the exact level of work of Andrew (Brayshaw) or Nat Fyfe, but he's not far off.

"I wasn't at a session on a Friday and (football manager) Peter Bell rang me and they were all raving about how he trained. So it was exciting for Harley and us, but there's plenty of work to go.

 

"But if he's fit, he's clearly good enough to play."

Bennell has had a brutal run since being traded from Gold Coast at the end of 2015, with Fremantle giving up picks No.16 and 35 for Bennell and pick No.22.

Signing with the Dockers on a three-year deal, he has managed just two games since then.

There have been a further 16 in the WAFL, and another in the WAFL reserves.

He penned a fresh contract for 2019 last August

Bennell was originally drafted by the Suns at No.2 in 2010.

The history of Harley Bennell's calves

Sunday, March 2, 2014 – Bennell plays a pre-season game for Gold Coast against Collingwood but a problematic calf issue means he doesn't return, via the NEAFL, until April.

Pre-Christmas, 2015 – Suffered a calf injury and has 'ongoing calf problems' during the pre-season.

Saturday, March 19, 2016 Calf strain while playing for Peel Thunder. Picked up 23 disposals and slotted four goals in that display.

Friday, November 18, 2016 – Left calf strain at training, which was then considered his 'good' calf.

Sunday, December 10, 2016Bennell leaves for Munich, Germany, to consult with world-renowned soft-tissue expert Dr Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt for his problematic calves.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 – Another left calf injury. Initially diagnosed as a minor tear but further scans showed it was more serious than first thought. Had yet to resume full training before that setback.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018Grade one tear in his left calf while training with Peel.

Saturday, June 2, 2018Calf tightness in his fourth-straight game for Peel. Sat out the second half of the clash with Claremont.

Saturday, July 28, 2018 – Left calf injury while playing for Peel. Pulled up short early in the last quarter after a 27-disposal and two-goal effort against West Perth and went to the bench, but eventually returned to the field.

Saturday, August 18, 2018Calf injury while playing for Peel in the second half of a match against Claremont, attempting a comeback after three weeks on the sidelines.

Week of January 21, 2019Bennell experiences calf tightness during a pre-season training session.

Friday, February 8, 2019 – Bennell strains a calf while training. No timeline yet for his recovery.