Myrtleford veteran Brad Murray is considering playing reserve grade on Saturday as he strives for some match fitness just a fortnight from finals.
Murray retired after the 2017 season, but returned earlier this year.
The 37-year-old has played five senior games, starring in wet conditions against Wangaratta Rovers on June 29.
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However, he suffered a groin injury and hasn't played since the July 20 win over Corowa-Rutherglen.
"I'm pretty close, I'm still tossing up whether I have a run in the ressies, just to play a half to test it out, I'm feeling pretty good," he said.
"It's a little precautionary, if I do it again, I'm done for the year, but I trained strongly during the week."
Murray will miss Saturday's bumper home clash against Lavington.
It's a vital game for both teams.
An upset Myrtleford win would certainly play a major role as the club battles desperately to snare a top three finish.
But it's just as crucial for the ladder leaders, who have a one-game break for the minor premiership.
"It's a big game, every game from here on in is a big game and that's what you play for," Myrtleford coach Jake Sharp said.
"We want to play in the big games rather than a dead rubber."
The Saints will play finals for only the second time since 2006, but given just one win separates the top four teams, a top three finish has never been more important, particularly in recent years.
Murray apart, Myrtleford has named a powerful outfit with three stars returning in leading goalkicker Lachie Dale, the classy Tom Ellard and Essendon's VFL midfielder Kurt Aylett.
"He's injured his calf, so they (Essendon) felt it would be good for him to have a run with us, that's beneficial for us," Sharp said.
Aylett made his O and M debut against Lavington on June 1.
"It's going to be a huge challenge (for the team), obviously we're keen to take a scalp," Murray, also an assistant coach, said.
"We've got a pretty strong side in so we'll have a red-hot crack.
"It will be high pressure footy, so we want to stand up to it and maintain the level we're playing."
Lavington hammered the Saints by 61 points in round eight, but the home team blew its chances early.
"We had a fair few opportunities, we kicked five points in the first quarter, and then they really ran over the top late," Murray said.
The Panthers have recalled three players, including teenager Macca Hallows, who starred against Albury in round 10, while another player injured that day - ruckman Tim Hanna - is back.