Alex Keath has stepped up his training workload and is set to re-join the Western Bulldogs' main group in a positive sign he will be cleared to return from injury for the AFL grand final.
The key defender missed the preliminary final with a hamstring injury and was on light training duties at the Bulldogs' base in Perth last week.
But fellow back-man Caleb Daniel is confident Keath will be ready to take on Melbourne's tall forwards at Optus Stadium on Saturday.
"He's training pretty well," Daniel said on Monday.
"He had an extended session on Saturday to get a few more (kilometres) in the legs and now he'll be training with the main group as far as I know.
"So he's tracking really well and hopefully he's available. I think he will be."
Keath's return could see 2016 premiership back-man Zaine Cordy squeezed out of the Bulldogs' side.
Livewire forward Cody Weightman (concussion) is set to return and Laitham Vandermeer (hamstring) remains in doubt.
The extra week off before this year's decider has worked in Keath's favour, with the Bulldogs squad taking a positive approach to the fortnight-long build-up.
They were stuck in quarantine under Western Australia's tight COVID-19 protocols until Sunday morning but are now operating with more freedom.
The first week after the preliminary final allowed the Bulldogs to mentally refresh, but the build-up will intensify in the coming days as the grand final draws nearer.
There were nine Bulldogs from the 2016 flag team in the preliminary final line-up, with Daniel of the belief that experience will help stand them in good stead this week.
Star recruit Adam Treloar also has a grand final appearance under his belt after playing in Collingwood's heartbreaking 2018 decider.
"I don't think there needs to be a switch flicked," Daniel said.
"We're old enough and experienced enough to realise that now's the time that you want to be playing footy.
"(Last week) was more chilled in that you didn't have to stress about a game on the weekend, but it is a grand final.
"We're in tune with our emotions enough to realise that it's pretty special to be around and when to pick it up."
Australian Associated Press