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Luckless Docker in line for surprise return against Power

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SILKY half-back Stephen Hill is ready to make his long-awaited return to football as Fremantle ponders several selection quandaries ahead of a showdown with finals rival Port Adelaide on Saturday.

Meanwhile, emerging ruck Sean Darcy will be available to replace Rory Lobb (foot), who the Dockers hope will still have a part to play later in the campaign, and veteran Aaron Sandilands is edging closer to a comeback.

Hill has not played at any level this season after quad and calf troubles, which restricted him to a career-low 13 games last year.

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The 29-year-old free agent has performed strongly in match simulation work in recent weeks and might be considered to return immediately at AFL level.

Harley Bennell is also pushing for a senior comeback and just his third game in three-and-a-half seasons at the Dockers after two impressive WAFL games following more calf woes.

 

If the Dockers, coming off two nail-biting wins over top-eight sides Brisbane and Collingwood, take the cautious approach the stars will run out for Peel against South Fremantle on Saturday.

"Stephen has been training really strongly with the team for the last couple of weeks," high performance manager Jason Weber said.

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"He has had a couple of great match simulations.

"At this stage he will be available for match committee and they will make a decision from there."

Darcy, who turns 21 on Wednesday, has put his hand up after a month on the sidelines recovering from an ankle injury.

He trained on Tuesday at Cockburn and is set to play his first game since the round two loss to Gold Coast when he had 37 hitouts but just six disposals.

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Sandilands could make a late-season bid to be part of the Dockers' finals push, and the 36-year-old is getting back into training with the main group.

"Aaron has been training really strongly and he trained a warm-up with the group this morning," Weber said.

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"He is progressing in his contested work really well, so we look forward to seeing him back to football in the next week or two."

The Dockers will have to make at least two changes from the Collingwood win before the bye, which lifted them to 6-5.

Lobb and gun defender Alex Pearce (ankle) are both out long-term, with Darcy and former No.8 draft pick Griffin Logue set to fill the breach. 

Meanwhile, last year's top draftees Sam Sturt (concussion) and Luke Valente (groin) should be back for Peel in one more week.