FREMANTLE will consider returning to a two-ruck structure and recalling Lloyd Meek if key forward Matt Taberner doesn’t recover from an ankle injury in time for Sunday's clash against Port Adelaide.
Taberner, who didn't take part in Thursday's main training session, could be given until game day to prove his fitness after suffering minor ligament damage in the round 10 win against Sydney.
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Coach Justin Longmuir said the important forward, who ranks seventh in the AFL with 27 goals, was improving and a decision on his availability was likely to come "down to the line".
"If it's looking like he's an even chance we'd take him (to Adelaide) and give him until the siren to prove his fitness," the coach said.
"He's clearly an important player for us. But if it's looking unlikely, we'd probably leave him at home."
Midfielder Andrew Brayshaw trained on Thursday and is set to return after a calf complaint, while ruckman Lloyd Meek shapes as a contingency for the Dockers if Taberner isn't fit and they want to retain a tall structure in attack.
In-form ruckman Sean Darcy rotated forward earlier this season with Meek in the team for the opening month, impressing and kicking three goals against Hawthorn in round four.
"We obviously brought (Josh) Treacy in last week and I thought he gave us a good contest when he needed to forward of the ball," Longmuir said.
"We might rely on him for more game time and just bring Brayshaw in.
"But there is an opportunity to play two rucks and keep that tall structure forward of the ball.
"It's something we've got to weigh up, because Sean's dominance around ruck contests and stoppage is giving us first look as a midfield group."
Darcy had a career-high 51 hit-outs against the Swans last Saturday night and has emerged as a top-five ruckman in the League this season.
The secret to his spike in form was continuity, Longmuir said, and commitment to his craft away from game day.
"The amount of work he's done behind the scenes to work on all areas of his game, I don't think there's anyone who has done more extras in the last three months than Sean," the coach said.
"Every time I get here at 7 o'clock he's here already doing work with Joel Corey. That's bearing fruit on the field."
Captain Nat Fyfe trained away from the main group on Thursday after undergoing scans on a troublesome foot this week, but he will face the Power.
The dual Brownlow medallist, who spent a long period working alone on his goalkicking, will need to have his training managed in the coming weeks.
"He's got some pain there, but no serious damage," Longmuir said.
"It's something he'll be able to work through. We'll have to manage it for a month or so, but he's used to managing things."
Key defender Alex Pearce trained on Wednesday to give him extra recovery time before lining up for Peel Thunder this week as he continues his return from an ankle injury.
The 25-year-old will also need to play through some pain in the coming weeks after experiencing some irritation where screws have been inserted in his ankle.