West Coast coach Adam Simpson says ruckman Nic Naitanui is jumping again and on track to return in week one of the AFL finals.
Naitanui's season looked over after he suffered a syndesmosis ankle injury in round 17.
But the 29-year-old is set to return to full training next week before lining up for the Eagles in week one of the finals.
"He's jumping and he's pulling up well," Simpson said ahead of Saturday night's crunch clash with Hawthorn in Perth.
"So I think he's on track hopefully to be playing in the first week of the finals. We'll see how we go. He's got to tick probably two more boxes, but he's on the right path.
"I think he'll train fully next week and hopefully be available the week after - first week of the finals.
"We won't rush it. We won't force it. But it's looking like he might be available."
Naitanui's return would be a huge boost to West Coast's flag defence.
The Eagles must beat Hawthorn at Optus Stadium to have any chance of finishing in the top two.
A loss could see them drop to as low as fifth - depending on other results.
Simpson said he wasn't focusing on the complicated permutations that the final round is throwing up.
"I haven't quite worked all that stuff out," he said.
"Winning - that's what it's about. All that other stuff is white noise.
"Teams are playing before us, after us, around us, so don't worry about it. Let's just try to win. If we win by a point, we'll take it."
Hawthorn (10-11) need to beat West Coast and hope the Bulldogs (11-10) lose to Adelaide on Sunday to have a chance of sneaking into eighth spot.
The Hawks have won five of their past seven games to storm back into finals contention, and Simpson has been impressed by their form.
"They look like the've been playing with a fair bit of freedom in the last few weeks," he said.
"And there's plenty on the line as well. That's a good space to be in. We're trying to get into that space as well."
West Coast have recalled Chris Masten and Liam Duggan for Josh Rotham (axed) and Mark Hutchings (hamstring).
Hawthorn forward Jarryd Roughead, who booted six goals against Gold Coast last week, won't make the trip to Perth after retiring.
Jack Scrimshaw and Daniel Howe come in for Roughead and Changkuoth Jiath (dropped).
Australian Associated Press