JESSE Hogan will step up his match conditioning at training on Monday as he prepares to join his Fremantle teammates in the Gold Coast hub next month.
The Dockers will take their entire playing group to Queensland ahead of their season restart against Brisbane on June 13 and be based on the east coast for at least four weeks.
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Hogan returned to the club a fortnight ago having been granted leave in January to deal with his mental health.
Now, after ticking off a solid running program, the 25-year-old key forward is expected to increase his game work next week in the hope of an early season return.
"He's in a really good frame of mind and I think that's leading to him looking really good on the track," Dockers coach Justin Longmuir told the ABC on Saturday.
"He's clearly put in a lot of work over the break with his fitness and running ability.
"The step we need now is turning that running ability into game-like fitness, the change of direction, being able to push and shove and outwork a defender and that will take a little bit of time with Jesse.
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"He probably came in for 25 minutes of the main training session (on Friday) and then did an hour off to the side trying to bridge that gap and that's probably what he's had a little bit of trouble with in his first few weeks back at training.
"We'll look to get him into some match sim on Monday and keep trying to build him so he's match fit, not just running fit."
Before taking leave, Hogan had been dealing with an injury to the navicular bone in his right foot that kept him sidelined after round 14 last year.
Longmuir added that first-round pick Liam Henry – who was dealing with a dislocated kneecap early in pre-season – had regressed in his knee rehabilitation during the shutdown period after returning home without access to a gym.
Like West Coast, the Dockers are expecting to receive clearance to take more football department members to the hub after the AFL provided clearance for 30 staff to work on match day.