Western Bulldogs captain Easton Wood is fit to lead his AFL club on their intimidating mission to Adelaide Oval on Friday night, but another favourite son will test his fitness at VFL level.
Dale Morris, 35, will return to footy less than three months after a partial tear of his ACL.
He'll line up against Werribee for Footscray, with coach Luke Beveridge admitting he was "tempted" to throw the hardened warrior straight into the furnace against Adelaide.
"We didn't think we'd be doing the right thing by him rushing him back," he said.
"It's been great that we've been able to pursue this train of trying to get him back earlier.
"He's such a professional athlete. He's meticulous in the way he goes about his vocation ... we hope he's got a future beyond this year."
Wood's return after two weeks off with a hamstring strain is timely, given the challenge of facing the Crows and the age profile of the Bulldogs.
Beveridge fielded just one player - Matt Suckling - aged over 26 in back-to-back wins over Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Couple that with a round six defeat of Carlton and the Bulldogs are looking for a fourth-straight win when they play Adelaide.
That run - admittedly against lowly-ranked opposition - is a sharp counter to the opening fortnight of the year when successive defeats had the Bulldogs on the bottom of the ladder and labelled a crisis club.
"As you can imagine (the wins) create an energy through the corridors of the place," Beveridge said.
"The boys are really buoyed by what they've been able to do out of some uncertainty.
"The challenge of playing a team that's probably one of the more touted and recognised teams that might be there at the end of the year always stimulates that train of thought that you might get pretty hefty scalp."
Wood might be joined by another Dogs leader - Jordan Roughead - with Beveridge saying he might bring in another ruck to help Tom Boyd counter Sam Jacobs' influence.
The Crows big man has been cleared to play in the round nine match, though other big name players - including Taylor Walker and Rory Sloane - will miss out.