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Suckling return on track

On the track Watch some of the highlights from today's training session

Western Bulldogs defender Matt Suckling is pain free and looking forward to attacking the pre-season at full speed by Christmas.

Achilles soreness kept the experienced defender on the sidelines for the second half of the 2018 season, but a solid rehabilitation program has put him in a strong position to be ready for next year.

"I've had some problems with the Achilles before, but it's just down to calf strength issues and playing a wet game against Adelaide (last year) … it just flared up, and then I tried to play on and couldn't," Suckling said.

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"I've spent a lot of time putting strength into my calves and I'm pain free at the moment, so running around and building up to be flat out by Christmas.”

Suckling was in arguably career-best form before his injury last season, where he averaged 24 disposals and six marks per game, and booted five goals, in the first 11 rounds.

He was on track for a top-five finish in the Charles Sutton Medal, amassing 63 votes in the first half of the campaign.

Suckling has played 50 games over three seasons for the Bulldogs since crossing from Hawthorn at the end of 2015, and signed a one-year contract extension for the 2019 season.