FREMANTLE hopes to regain gun key defender Alex Pearce from a calf complaint in time for Saturday night's showdown with Sydney, despite not participating in Monday morning's light training run.
Pearce's absence from the first session of the week was not unusual for the 27-year-old, who was a late withdrawal for the Dockers' 41-point win against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.
The recently re-signed backman has enjoyed a superb season and would be a leading contender to take on Swans superstar Lance Franklin at Optus Stadium in his return to Western Australia.
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The Dockers covered Pearce's absence against the Saints by switching Griffin Logue into defence, but coach Justin Longmuir expects to have his No.1 key defender available on Saturday night.
Pearce would have played against the Saints if given the choice, Longmuir said, but the decision was made to err on the side of caution.
Football manager Peter Bell on Monday said the defender would be assessed ahead of Wednesday's main training session.
"Alex completed cross training on Monday rather than a flush run," Bell said.
"He will be assessed on Wednesday as to his involvement in main training, currently scheduled for Wednesday evening."
Fellow defender Heath Chapman is pushing to return from a hamstring injury for his first game since round 11 after starring for Peel Thunder in a polished performance against his former WAFL club West Perth.
The 20-year-old trained on Monday morning in a backline group that also included Logue after his late switch into defence against the Saints.
Wingman Blake Acres trained with the main group at Cottesloe Oval in a sign he is closing in on his return from a hamstring injury as soon as this week.
Midfielder Nathan O'Driscoll is also close to returning from a foot injury and faces a fitness test this week.
Important small forward Sam Switkowski (back) ran laps and moved into some kicking drills with young tall forward Jye Amiss (kidney), who remains on the inactive list.
The Dockers announced on Monday morning that Switkowski had extended his contract by one season through to the end of 2024, giving the 25-year-old clarity on his future as he recovers from injury.
"We love what Sam does both on and off the field and we're looking forward to getting him back as he’s integral to our forward line," list manager David Walls said.
"Champion Data rate him as elite and which illustrates that he's so important to us with what he brings.
"We wanted to extend him out until 2024 just so that he had that peace of mind with his rehab as we see him as a long-term player."