Fremantle midfielder Nathan Fyfe feels like a million dollars as he attempts to prove his fitness for Saturday’s qualifying final against Sydney at Domain Stadium.
But ruckman Jon Griffin has already been ruled out of the blockbuster AFL clash with a hamstring injury.
Fyfe has missed the past two matches because of inflammation in his left leg, but coach Ross Lyon says the Brownlow Medal favourite is a good chance to return against Sydney.
“I spoke to him today. He feels a million bucks. And the conditioners and physios are really confident that he’ll be fine,” Lyon said on Monday.
“He’s pain free. He’s been on legs running, kicking, so they are all really positive signs.
“But the next hurdle is he’ll train over the next few days and do our main session on Thursday, and then he’ll need to declare himself (fit) like he basically declared himself today.”
The Dockers are set to recall up to 14 players for Saturday’s final, with Matthew Pavlich, Aaron Sandilands, Luke McPharlin, Michael Johnson, David Mundy, and Stephen Hill among the rested stars who will return.
Lyon declared star goalsneak Michael Walters (calf) a certain starter.
And fellow forward Hayden Ballantyne will also be available for selection after recovering from a torn pectoral muscle.
Ballantyne hasn’t played since round 16, and Lyon admits he faces a tough decision as to whether to recall the 28-year-old straight away.
“I don’t think it’s about him impressing me,” Lyon said.
“We look at all the data, and we just weigh up who we’d be forcing out. That’s the difficult one.
“It just comes down to … the balance of the team.”
Griffin’s injury looms as Fremantle’s biggest headache.
With fellow ruck option Zac Clarke horribly out of form, the Dockers may be forced to turn to the inexperienced Jack Hannath.
Lyon has also floated the possibility of using defender Zac Dawson or forward Matt Taberner as a pinch-hitting ruckman to help ease the load on Aaron Sandilands.
Pavlich has battled Achilles tendon soreness in recent weeks.
But after being rested from two of the past three games, the 333-game veteran is ready to fire against Sydney.
“I still trained physically over the break. But I’m certainly mentally refreshed,” Pavlich said.
“I haven’t travelled the last two trips away. I feel ready to go and looking forward to what is a highly anticipated finals campaign.”
Sydney will enter Saturday’s match without co-captain Kieren Jack (knee), while fellow star Luke Parker is still working his way back from a broken leg.