HARLEY Bennell says he's "hungrier than ever" to make his long-awaited return to football following his troublesome calf issues. 

The Fremantle star missed his entire first season with the Dockers last year due to persistent right calf problems.

Bennell then suffered a setback in November when he hurt his "good" left calf at training, before seeking expert soft-tissue treatment in Germany.

Since returning from Munich, the 24-year-old has been building up his workload, but is yet to join the Dockers' main training group.

"I'm slowly and gradually getting some kms into my legs and my calves, obviously," Bennell told the club's website.

"It's coming along really well and I'm just really looking forward to getting out there with the boys and I'll hopefully get some games under my belt.

"I can't wait. I'm hungrier than ever and I'm doing everything right to get my body right and get ready for a big season."

Bennell, who played 81 games and booted 92 goals in five seasons for Gold Coast, could effectively be a new recruit for the Dockers if he can overcome his injury woes. 

"We're really just monitoring him from a KPI point-of-view and once he continues to progress … he'll keep working towards the footy program," football boss Chris Bond said last week.

"We're really confident he's going to be playing a great deal of football this year, and that's what we want to do.

"In regards to exact dates we're not too sure, he's just working through in really good spirits and training very hard."