FREMANTLE is "pretty positive" ruckman Sean Darcy will be available for Sunday's clash against Sydney at Metricon Stadium after recovering well from his knee complaint this week.
Coach Justin Longmuir said the star big man would need to get through training to take his place against the Swans, but the issue was not as bad as the club had first thought.
The Dockers will be without forward/ruck Rory Lobb (ankle) and are considering whether tall forward Matt Taberner returns from injury through the WAFL or is injected straight into the senior team.
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Darcy walked laps at training on Thursday morning before joining a small group of teammates to do a short running session.
"He'll have to get through training, but we're pretty positive on Sean. It's not as bad as we maybe thought. He's had a good result," Longmuir said before the session.
Taberner, who has played one game since suffering an ankle injury against Sydney in round 10, has recovered from a calf injury and will play at some level this week.
"He's a good replacement for 'Lobby', who will miss this week. Hopefully he's in a good frame of mind and feels confident," Longmuir said.
"He'll play at some level this week … we just need to weigh up what's best for his game and our game."
Longmuir said the Dockers' extended 10-day break had helped captain Nat Fyfe, who was troubled by his recently dislocated shoulder against Geelong in round 18 but was now feeling good.
The break had also given the Dockers time to "reflect and think about our performance against Geelong" after a 69-point thrashing that severely dented their top-eight hopes.
With several states now in lockdown and the fixture constantly moving, there have been calls to bring the pre-finals bye forward and take a one-week break to reset the season.
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But Longmuir said pushing on with games was the best option while it was possible.
"For me it's a no-brainer. While you can you've got to charge on," he said.
"I've heard people saying bring the one-week rest forward, but one week is not going to solve COVID. So we've just got to charge on while we can."
The coach said star midfielder David Mundy's re-signing would give the rest of the team a boost "knowing they can learn off him for another year".
"The longer we have him around playing good footy is beneficial for us," Longmuir said. "It's great to have him onboard for another year, at least."