FREMANTLE coach Ross Lyon has not ruled out the possibility of tagger Ryan Crowley playing again this season.

The 31-year-old was handed a 12-month suspension last week for breaching the AFL’s anti-doping code after testing positive to a banned substance that was contained in a painkiller.

The suspension is backdated to September 25 last year – the day Crowley accepted a voluntary suspension – meaning he could return to the field for the last two weeks of finals.

Under the code, Crowley is able to resume training with the Dockers two months before his sanction ends.

Lyon said there would still be a chance of Crowley returning to the squad despite his ban ending late in the season.

"If that was the commitment, if Ryan said: 'I'll commit to train, keep fit, come back (then a return is possible)," Lyon told Fox Footy on Monday night.

"Until you're in finals you can't make any decisions; if we get to that stage we'll consider it, but potentially it could happen.

"We'll all come back together and look at the immediate future with the view to make a decision for Ryan to do the training and come back two months out."

It comes after Lyon warned his players not to look too far forward after reaching the bye at 10-1.

The Dockers produced their equal-best start to a season with nine straight wins before losing in round 10 to Richmond.

The Dockers rebounded with a seven-point win over Gold Coast in wet conditions on Saturday to remain one game clear of the Sydney Swans at the top of the ladder.

Lyon addressed the players after the win over Gold Coast and defender Garrick Ibbotson said the main message was for the players to refresh but not get ahead of themselves.

"He said to make sure we enjoy ourselves now and really relax," Ibbotson said on Monday.

"But he said to make sure we don't look too far forward because being 10-1 now doesn't mean 20-2 at the end.

"You could be 10-12. So there’s a lot of hard work to go still."

Fremantle’s players will have four days away from the club this week before returning to training on the weekend ahead of their round 13 clash with Collingwood the following Thursday.

The Dockers boast the No.1 defence in the AFL this season despite significant injuries to key defenders. Zac Dawson (broken thumb) and Alex Silvagni (hamstring) are yet to play a senior game this year while Michael Johnson is out for two months with a torn hamstring. Luke McPharlin has also missed a couple of matches with calf tightness.

Ibbotson is one of the few defenders to have played every game and said it had been a challenge to manage the personnel changes.

"It's been a little bit different," Ibbotson said.

"Alex Pearce has come in and played his role and Tendai (Mzungu) came in on the weekend. I think that's the beauty of the way we play that when someone goes down we have someone else who can come in and fill that role. So it's been a little bit different and difficult at times but we're getting through."

Ibbotson has had to play as a key defender at times despite being only 186cm.

"I don't mind it," Ibbotson said.

"It's tough sometimes. I played on a 200cm player on the weekend and I play on some smaller guys.

"It's a different challenge for me. I'm enjoying the challenge. Having Luke (McPharlin) and Johnno around is always helpful."