Defender Heath Chapman and forward Matt Taberner will make their returns to football this weekend on managed minutes via the WAFL for Peel Thunder.

Chapman played the opening three games of Fremantle’s 2023 campaign before calf and hamstring complications kept him sidelined for the majority of the year.

The rangy defender will play alongside Nathan Wilson, Liam Reidy, Hugh Davies, Travis Colyer, Tom Emmett and Conrad Williams in the League side.

Taberner featured in the first four rounds of the year but sustained a back injury in Freo’s round four loss to Adelaide that required surgery to fix a disc issue.

The key forward underwent a microdiscectomy, a procedure that removes part of a bulging intervertebral disc to relieve pressure on nerves in the spine.

Taberner will line up in the Reserves for Peel alongside Fremantle talls Eric Benning and Max Knobel.

Executive General Manager of Football Peter Bell explained Taberner's return via the Reserves, and said it was great to see both him and Chapman tick off their return to play milestones this weekend.

“With the injury and surgery that Matt had, we think that managed minutes in the reserves suits his build best," Bell said.

“We can work on building his volume into a return to league football.

“It’s also great to see Heath return - he’s worked hard to get to this stage and we are hoping he can continue to build after an injury interrupted season.”

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