Ballet physio guru helps Docker Bennell

Justin Chadwick

Fremantle midfielder Harley Bennell will make his latest return to playing duties this weekend - and it's largely thanks to a ballet physiotherapist.

Bennell has been sidelined since injuring his troublesome calf in February during his club-imposed suspension.

An injury that the club thought would take three weeks to heal turned into almost three months.

But Bennell will put that frustration behind him when he lines up for Peel Thunder on Saturday in their WAFL clash with Claremont in Mandurah.

Bennell has been plagued by calf issues to both of his legs for years, and the Dockers have tried everything to eradicate the issue.

They even sent Bennell to Germany in 2016 to receive treatment from renowned soft tissue specialist Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt.

When that didn't fix the problem for good, Fremantle opted to go outside the box, hoping a ballet physio guru would prove to be the answer.

Collingwood's Ben Reid did the same thing in 2015, turning to ballet conditioning expert Paula Baird Colt to try to heal his own soft-tissue problems.

Dockers coach Ross Lyon said Bennell had been working with the same ballet physiotherapist.

"He's just been doing some strengthening exercises, (so) that when you move your feet, you move your calves," Lyon said.

"He's bought in. There's a lot of detail to it and hard work. But he's working incredibly hard.

"He's getting some benefit. As Harley said, if that's one per cent (improvement), I'm prepared to do that. We think it may have helped."

Lyon said Bennell would need three or four weeks in the WAFL before being considered for an AFL recall.

Fremantle received good news on Tuesday when it was revealed Michael Walters' knee injury wasn't as bad as first thought.

The Dockers initially thought Walters would miss up to a month with a torn medial ligament in his left knee.

But scans have revealed it's a tear in his medial patellofemoral ligament, which keeps the knee cap in place.

Lyon is hopeful Walters will be out for just one week with the injury.

But wingman Brad Hill is set to miss at least another month with his own knee injury.

Hill hasn't played since hurting his left knee during the round-two win over Essendon.

Fremantle had hoped Hill would miss only one week, but the bone bruising had been slow to settle.

Forgotten forwards Shane Kersten and Brennan Cox are among the contenders to earn a recall for Sunday's clash with Richmond at the MCG.