A CLEAN bill of health is all most clubs would ask for in January, and the Bulldogs have got that wish with more than 40 players taking part in match simulation on the club's pre-season camp in Mooloolaba.
Talented forward Aaron Naughton joined in match simulation for the first time on Thursday, as he recovers from the lateral ligament damage he suffered to his left knee in last year's elimination final.
Taylor Duryea ran outside for the first time this off-season since undergoing surgery to fix a groin injury, with the Bulldogs medical staff hoping he will begin taking part in football drills in February.
Alex Keath (leg stress fracture) has taken part in match practice for the past two weeks, while vice-captain Lachie Hunter (shoulder reconstruction) has been in full training since the Christmas break.
The Bulldogs had initially hoped Tom Liberatore (knee) would be able to re-join the main training group by the end of January, but he's now targeting a return in early to mid-February.
Liberatore is back running, but was one of the only players to miss out on Thursday's match simulation, joining Duryea and draftee Riley Garcia (knee reconstruction) on the sidelines.
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The Bulldogs have another match simulation scheduled for Sunday, with Naughton also expected to take part in that.
Western Bulldogs forwards coach Ashley Hansen said Naughton has looked great in his rehabilitation process, as the 20-year-old targets a round one return.
"From the incident to be where he's at, it really is a blessing because it could have been a lot worse," Hansen said.
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"It certainly looks like he's got his straight-line speed and spring from the non-contact drills that he's been doing.
"That's going to increase over the coming weeks with the game-based non-scripted drills, he'll be able to ramp up the change of direction and agility and contact."