NRL Rd 20 - Bulldogs v Panthers
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Raymond Faitala-Mariner of the Bulldogs is tackled during the round 20 NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium on September 26, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The Canterbury Bulldogs are looking in relatively good shape ahead of the 2022 season, with pre-season training well underway.

The remaining players will join pre-season training on Monday at the club, with off-season recruits Tevita Pangai Junior and Josh Addo-Carr beginning their preparation today.

It's understood Matt Burton is also apart of that group, with the trio given a much longer build-in to the season following their respective clubs runs well into the 2021 finals series, with Burton and Pangai Junior winning the grand final for Penrith, and Addo-Carr reaching the preliminary finals with the Melbourne Storm.

Phil Gould, in a tweet, confirmed that both Max King and Raymond Faitala-Mariner are both showing promising signs as they recover from injury, while Aaron Schoupp and Braidon Burns are both on track to be fit in time for finals.

The news surrounding Faitala-Mariner is the most positive of the lot.

He missed all but two rounds of the 2021 season with a foot injury, his recovery being set back multiple times in what was a cruel blow for the struggling Bulldogs.

But he is finally moving back to full fitness and will be a much-needed inclusion for the Bulldogs in 2022, even if that comes off the bench.

The news regarding Aaron Schoupp is also extremely positive. He was due to miss the start of the season recovering from a shoulder injury, however, it would now appear the centre is ahead of schedule and will be able to fight to retain his spot.

The signing of Brent Naden may put pressure on Schoupp, however, the Illawarra junior was a standout during the second half of the season for the wooden spooners.

Max King's return to training will also be a positive light for the Bulldogs, while Braidon Burns, like Schoupp, will be able to fight over a backline position with his return in the trials.

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