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Ned Balme  January 27, 2016 6:11 PM

Chris Bond gives an update on the health of the playing list.

As the Fremantle Dockers move closer to their first NAB Challenge game, the health of the playing group has Freo in an exciting position according to Chris Bond.

“We’re really pleased.” Bond said.

“From our point of view, we have the majority of the group out there.

“They’re working really hard and we think we’re on track to get most of our players up and going for the NAB Challenge.”

The health of Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe’s back has been a talking point over the pre-season but Bond was confident about the star midfielders imminent return.

“We’re expecting Nat (Fyfe) to get back into football in the next couple of days,” he said.

Off-season acquisition Harley Bennell has been limited with a calf injury since arriving at Fremantle, but making sure he remains healthy for the long term is the priority according to Bond.

“From our point of view, Harley (Bennell) is going to be a long-term footballer at this footy club,” he said.

“We need to make sure his body is conditioned in the right way to not only get through this year but the next number of years.

“We think he’s on track to do that.”

Tough but rewarding pre-season for Grey

Following a breakout 2015 season, defender Alex Pearce had an interrupted pre-season but Bond said his work ethic and commitment to rehab had been impressive.

“He has a huge passion to work and his work through the rehab means that we think he’s going to be in pretty good nick,” Bond said.

“We don’t think it’s going to affect his season too much at all.”

Bond said first year player Harley Balic was adjusting well to the demands of senior football and was in a good position to develop as a player once he finished his rehab.

“He’s (Balic) a first year player so he’s really getting himself into the program and working really hard to get himself adapted to that,” he said.

“Our first year players have really blended into our program really well.

“They’ll continue to work under our development academy and hopefully develop as quickly as possible.”

Michael Apeness is entering the final stages of his rehabilitation as he recovers from a knee injury that derailed his 2015 season.