Fremantle remain “hopeful” that 2010 best-and-fairest winner David Mundy will be fit for their round one clash with Geelong but have acknowledged that he is unlikely to play in the NAB Cup.

Mundy, who suffered an ankle injury mid-season in 2011 and required further surgery post- season after returning to play one game, in round 22 against North Melbourne, has emerged as the Dockers’ major summer injury concern after a steady but slow recovery that has kept him out of the main training group.

Mundy had surgery immediately after the 2011 season, then further surgery in November to remove a screw from his right ankle, which was trodden on by Essendon ruckman David Hille in round 12 at Patersons Stadium.

“He is not a certainty to miss it all but he is likely to,” Dockers football operations manager Chris Bond said of the pre-season competition.

“He is a chance to be up and going and to get some match practice in ahead of playing AFL senior football, but there will be no risks taken with him.”

Fremantle’s season turned pear-shaped shortly after Mundy joined ruckman Aaron Sandilands on the sidelines. The Dockers had eight losses, missing the finals.

Bond said Mundy had not suffered any major setbacks following surgery but his rehabilitation had been a little slow.

“He had the operation and the recovery has probably been a little slower than we thought,” Bond said.

“He has been managed well and our guys have been working really hard with him. But he won’t be rushed. He is going to have to tick all of the right boxes to play.

“He is a player that we need to make sure we get a full year out of.”

It will be the second consecutive year that Mundy has had a badly interrupted pre-season.

He missed all but one of the Dockers’ lead-up matches ahead of 2011, but started the season with a purple patch, gathering 28 or more possessions in six of Fremantle’s first seven games. He also kicked goals in all but one of those games to be a driving force in the club’s positive start to the season.

Two other summer injury concerns, Nat Fyfe and Anthony Morabito, appear to have turned the corner.

Fyfe has joined in most training drills over the past fortnight after shoulder surgery and groin soreness.

Morabito is on track to play in some of the NAB Cup series after being sent to a Melbourne surgeon late last year after problems with his rehabilitation from a knee reconstruction.

Bond stressed that the club would continue to treat Morabito’s recovery cautiously, but said: “We now expect him to be ready to play a couple of NAB Cup games, which would be great for him.”

Training form suggests that 2011 draftee Lachie Neale and Josh Mellington, who played two games last year, are other youngsters in strong contention to play in the NAB Cup.

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