FREMANTLE expects a string of stars to return next week against St Kilda after losing to Geelong by 41 points at Simonds Stadium on Saturday night.

An Achilles problem has forced skipper Matthew Pavlich out since round three while big ruckman Aaron Sandilands is yet to play a game in 2013.

Dockers' coach Ross Lyon expects the both to be ready to return in round 15 and go straight into the senior side.

"They're ready, no problem," Lyon said.

He also expects midfielders David Mundy and Michael Barlow – who both missed just one week – to return.

Lee Spurr was a late withdrawal against the Cats due to illness and should return.

It is good timing for the Dockers with two games at home in the next two weeks and still in strong contention for a top four position.

Although Pavlich was the only one of the five to finish in the top five of the club's best and fairest last season, the quintet are key players in any serious Fremantle flag tilt.

The Dockers took in an inexperienced line-up against the Cats, who remain the second most experienced club in the competition.

The Dockers had five players with just 20 games between them including first gamer Viv Michie, second gamers Matt Taberner and Tom Sheridan and Jack Hannath (eight games) and Hayden Crozier (10 games).

Lyon said it was self-evident that the absence of its key players had an effect on the result but he said the youngsters showed some signs.

"Viv Michie found a bit of the ball [and] found out about the level.  Tom Sheridan did a little bit. Taberner worked really hard and presented, we think he is going to be a really good player for us. So there are some positives but overall it is a bit of a disappointment," Lyon said.

He said that the 41-point margin flattered the team.

"It felt like 80 points," Lyon said.

Paul Duffield was the only injury concern but Lyon said it was calf tightness that forced him from the ground. He will have scans this week.

He knows the Dockers remain in the hunt.

"[The] glass is half–full isn't it?" Lyon said. "We've got five of our very best players coming back in. We play at home, we're in pretty good shape and we know at our best we can compete with teams like Geelong."