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Players applaud with injured stars back on track

Important Fremantle defender Alex Pearce has made a big step in his push for an early-season return from ankle surgery, joining Fremantle's main training group on Wednesday.

Pearce was joined in the main group by veteran David Mundy (leg) and rebounding defender Nathan Wilson (toe).

The trio, who have all trained in a separate group since before Christmas, were given a round of applause by teammates before the session started at the club's Cockburn base.

Midfielder Stefan Giro also earned cheers form the group as he joined in with the warm-ups for the first time since his knee injury last season.

The Dockers said on Wednesday afternoon they expected all three to push for senior selection by round four or five.

Small forward Sam Switkowski also joined teammates on Wednesday, recommencing his rehab program as he recovers from back stress fractures.  

Pearce, who was a crucial player for the Dockers early last year, fractured his left ankle in round 11 last season and underwent follow-up surgery in December to strengthen it.

He ruled out a round-one return last month after a long period off his feet, but the 24-year-old appeared in good shape on Wednesday.

He took part in kicking drills before working on his contested marking, then moving into ball-movement work with the main group.

He stepped away to work one-on-one on defending leads, with his agility obvious after a long period building up to main training.

A number of Dockers had light sessions on Wednesday, with young gun Andrew Brayshaw warming up with the main group before running laps with Taylin Duman.

The midfielder required scans after his foot was stomped on against West Coast on Saturday but was cleared of any break.

Ruckman Sean Darcy, who had an ankle scare against the Eagles, trained away from the main group and jogged laps before moving inside after just under an hour.

First-year defender Hayden Young continued to have his loads managed, starting the session away from the main group and stretching before a high-intensity running session that finished after roughly an hour.

Defender Luke Ryan and recruit James Aish had light sessions after being withdrawn against the Eagles because of soreness. Wingman Brett Bewley also completed his own running for large parts of the session. 

AFL

Training gallery: 11 March

See all the photos from Wednesday's training session at Victor George Kailis Oval
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