Fremantle’s prime clearance specialist David Mundy has conceded that overtraining was the main reason behind the groin soreness that came close to derailing his pre-season campaign.

Last year’s club champion declared himself willing to line up in a practice match for WAFL club Subiaco this Saturday to build up his game time after playing a half in the Dockers’ nine-point win over West Coast on Saturday.

It was his first competitive hit-out of the year.

His groin soreness arose after the club’s Christmas break, forcing the 25-year-old to scale back his workload in a bid to avoid injuring a hamstring or calf and further postponing his return.

The club will decide which players line up for their respective WAFL sides early this week.

“It was just a bit of overtraining I think,” Mundy said.

“It got tipped over the edge a little bit and I just needed to adjust my program a little bit, so that’s been done.

“You always come across problems with going over the edge a little bit because we walk such a fine line in pre-season trying to get as much running and training into us as we can.”

Mundy has been among a worrying number of key Fremantle players who have come unstuck with soreness or wear-and-tear injuries during the gruelling pre-season.

Stephen Hill (shin soreness) and Dylan Roberton (ankle) also made their delayed returns against the Eagles, while ruck pair Jonathon Griffin and Zac Clarke were rested from the final practice match due to soreness.

Up to 11 players are expected to be unavailable through injury for the club’s season opener against Brisbane at the Gabba on March 26, including the latest casualty, mature-age draftee Tendai Mzungu, one of the club’s shining lights in the pre-season.

Mzungu succumbed to a knee injury against the Eagles and could be sidelined for at least a month.

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has not admitted to making mistakes with the team’s pre-season schedule, but previously said he believed more scrutiny would go into individual rather than team programs.

“We do train hard, there’s no question about that, but that’s our belief and it’s part of mental toughness and where we think the game’s going to go with the cap on rotations,” Harvey said.

Mundy, who was an All-Australian nomination last year, is in his second year in Fremantle’s leadership group and will start this premiership campaign aiming to continue his career-best form without the presence of rookie revelation Michael Barlow on the ball.

He said the group had prepared well to back up after last year’s finals finish, but believed they have lost the element of surprise.

“I think teams will be a little more wary of us this year, especially early, whereas last year we may have got a jump on a couple of sides,” Mundy said.

“We relish all these kind of chall- enges and opportunities to really take it to the good sides and we want to be playing in the big games against the good sides, so we say ‘bring it on’.”

Mundy admitted the Dockers couldn’t afford to be looking too far down the track.

“Obviously to play finals is why we play football, but to think about that at this stage is a bit premature,” he said.

“We’ve got a really tough first five rounds, especially the first three games, so we want to get off to a flying start.

“We’re really just focusing on Brisbane at this stage.”

Mundy has already flagged their round-one opposition as a major threat despite the wounded Lions reeling from the pre-season sackings of Brendan Fevola and rookie Albert Proud and facing severe salary cap issues.

“If I was at Brisbane I’d be aching for round one to come just to prove that all that kind of stuff and all the speculation and hype that’s been going on up there hasn’t really affected them on the field,” Mundy said.

“I’m sure they’re going to come out and want to prove something to their fans in round one in their home stadium, so it’s going to be a great challenge for us.”

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