FREMANTLE midfielder Darcy Tucker has done enough to return from a hamstring injury in time for Sunday's season-opener, with the Dockers confident they won't be papering over cracks after losing three stars for the clash against Adelaide.
Captain Nat Fyfe (knee and back), star ruckman Sean Darcy (calf) and leading goalkicker Matt Taberner (hamstring) will all miss Sunday's trip to Adelaide Oval.
Tucker will help cover Fyfe's loss in the midfield and Lloyd Meek gets his chance in the ruck after an impressive summer, while coach Justin Longmuir declared young tall Josh Treacy would play forward after missing both pre-season games.
"We've picked a really strong team across the board, and I feel like missing those three is a great opportunity for other guys who deserve the opportunity," Longmuir said.
"It's definitely not papering over things. Players were picked deserving of their opportunity and have had great pre-seasons.
"I've got full faith in them being able to execute their roles … we're going in really confident."
Tucker has not played in either of the Dockers' pre-season games but was a standout through the summer program before suffering a hamstring injury a month ago.
Longmuir said the Dockers would back the wingman to perform based on the strength of his pre-season, which saw the 25-year-old build his engine considerably.
"He's been one of our best performers and that stems from the moment they went on holidays last year and he didn't have a session off," Longmuir said.
"He was one of our best trainers up until he had that mishap with the hammy. We'll back that in, get him back in the team, and he gives us a good mix of inside and out in the midfield."
Fyfe will miss at least one match with back and knee complaints, but Longmuir said the dual Brownlow medallist was expected to ramp up his training quickly next week to push for selection against St Kilda in round two.
"He's had a few niggles that have caused him to miss sessions and the risk is just not worth it," the coach said.
"We don't expect them to linger for too long.
"It gives us an opportunity to tick every box with his shoulder and get him cherry ripe."
Veteran David Mundy will captain the club on Sunday, while recruit Will Brodie is set to play a prominent inside midfield role after impressing in both pre-season hitouts against West Coast.
"He's proven that he can play at that level. He's had a fantastic pre-season and he's ready to go and ready to prove himself at a new club," Longmuir said.
"This week we expect him to play as an inside mid. He's very good at the contest and very good with his pressure. I'm excited to see what he can do because he's had a very strong pre-season."