Both key defender Alex Pearce and midfielder Stephen Hill are making important steps forward in their recovery, according to senior coach Justin Longmuir.

Pearce will play his first full game of football for Peel this Saturday against Swan Districts since injuring his knee against Melbourne in round one.

“He’s tracking really well. I’ve seen a real shift in his confidence the past couple of weeks,” Longmuir said. 

“He got through the game (last week against Subiaco) really well.

“He won’t train today, as he’s on a different training program, but he’ll play again at Peel on the weekend, full minutes this week and we’ll assess where it takes him after that. He’s going well.”

Longmuir said Hill’s return via Peel is a week away after training with the main group on Thursday.

“He’s progressing really well. He’s going to fully train today,” Longmuir said. 

“He’ll have a couple of weeks of full training and we hope to give him game time next weekend at Peel.”

06:35 Mins
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'It looks like signs are positive on Taberner and Logue' | Justin Longmuir

Justin Longmuir spoke to WA media ahead of Fremantle's round 12 clash against the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium.

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Unfortunately for Freo’s defensive stocks, Longmuir said defender Joel Hamling was no guarantee to play this season.

Hamling played in round one against Melbourne but his return was short-lived as he re-injured his ankle.

“I can’t sit here and give a definitive time. He’s going to progress his training over the next month and then we’ll assess it from there,” Longmuir said. 

“There’s always a chance (he misses the rest of the season), we hope that’s not the case, clearly. But it’s progressing the way we want it to progress.”

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