Collingwood key defender Darcy Moore always felt he would be ready for the AFL qualifying final win over Geelong.
Moore had a strong game in the win over the Cats, particularly with some big marks as Geelong pressed in the last quarter.
But there was plenty of speculation about his fitness after he had left the field in the last quarter of the round-23 win over Essendon.
That game was Moore's first match back since another hamstring injury in round 17.
"It was awesome - obviously the biggest game of my career so far," Moore said of his first AFL final.
"I had a really solid five-six week training block and then managed to get through the Essendon game unscathed.
"I was feeling really great and obviously the week off before the game helps as well."
He will be crucial again for the Magpies in Saturday's preliminary final as they try to quell the talented GWS attack.
Moore described the decision to leave the field against Essendon as a precaution, rather than a scare.
"It was a little bit of tightness and awareness - it's a bit of a tricky thing," he said.
"The physios just decided to call it and rest up for the final. It worked out really well.
"Obviously when you have seven hamstring strains, you're always trying to pick up on signs earlier than other guys."
Now all eyes are on star forward Jordan De Goey, who suffered a hamstring injury against the Cats and is in a race against time to play again this season.
As Moore did earlier this year, De Goey went to Germany after the Geelong match and visited soft-tissue injury expert Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, the doctor nicknamed "Healing Hans".
De Goey was moving well at Collingwood's Monday light training run, but is a long way off proving his fitness for Saturday.
"Everyone's different, but there's a big difference between running a few laps and playing a game of AFL," Moore noted.
He also said that Muller-Wohlfahrt offered a different perspective on Moore's hamstring problems.
"To have someone like him, who's been dealing with these sorts of issues for 40 years - back in the '70s and '80s in the VFL it was probably a bit of 'ice it up and she'll be right'," Moore said.
"There's probably a new wave of research going on and he's all part of that.
"It's just another opinion. A fresh set of eyes does wonders, so I think that really helped."
Australian Associated Press