FREMANTLE appears unlikely to rush key forward Matt Taberner back for Saturday's high-stakes clash against Carlton, despite the temptation to stretch the Blues' injury-hit backline. 

Taberner is on the comeback from back spasms suffered in the round 11 win against Melbourne and booted three goals in the WAFL on Saturday to push his case for AFL selection.

The important 29-year-old spent time in the Dockers' rehab group at Wednesday's training session, however, putting his AFL return in doubt as the club considers how to best manage his long-term fitness. 

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"We can manage his game time, it's a slightly lower intensity, and he doesn't have to get on a plane (in the WAFL)," coach Justin Longmuir said on Wednesday. 

"He's one of our more important players and I think he'll have a real impact for us, (but) we've just got to get him out there consistently and give him that continuity.

"We're still working through the best way to do that. I see him as a really important part of the plan going forward."

Matt Taberner celebrates a goal during round five, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

If the Dockers choose to keep Taberner in the WAFL for another week, Longmuir has the luxury of playing tall defender Griffin Logue in attack after an impressive run of form as a forward over the past three weeks.

The ability to play three talls and stretch the Blues, however, was a consideration.

"It comes into our thinking, absolutely," Longmuir said.

"The other thing is we need to be mindful that it's the replacement for (Jacob) Weitering they're struggling with given their injury list, and probably (Zac) Williams.

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"But other than that, they're pretty settled down there and they're still a pretty good backline, so we can't take them lightly.

"We've got to make sure we get the balance right with our team selection and mindset."

Fremantle players had five days off over the bye, with the luxury of a full 14-day gap between games allowing the club to give its players more than the standard four days mandated by the AFL Players Association.

Longmuir said the time off had energised his group, returning with a heavy training session last weekend to set up the build towards an important clash at Marvel Stadium with the fifth-placed Blues.

Nat Fyfe leads the Dockers from the field after winning the round 13 match against Hawthorn at Optus Stadium on June 11, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"A few of the guys who were a bit banged-up have been able to rest their bodies and get some things done which has helped them, so it's a pretty energetic group out there at the moment," the coach said.

"There's a number of players who have played every game who had an opportunity to have a bit of a spell, so I think everyone would have got something out of it."

With speculation about Melbourne ruckman Luke Jackson's future getting more intense, Longmuir chose not to comment on the club's position on the exciting premiership Demon, who remains out of contract.

Luke Jackson and Tim English in action during Melbourne's win over the Western Bulldogs in round one, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"It's not my job to talk about those sorts of things publicly, and I've probably done that in the past with players and regretted it straight away," he said.  

"If the shoe was on the other foot I wouldn't want opposition coaches talking about my players that way. It's not really for me to publicly comment on.

"I'm involved on list management committee and talk about our players constantly and players around the comp constantly, like every coach would and every list management committee would."