WIL Powell looks almost certain to return to Gold Coast's defensive unit for Saturday's game against Sydney, but a question mark still hangs over Connor Budarick.

Powell suffered a hamstring injury in the QClash against Brisbane in round six, but has recovered strongly.

He did some sprinting before Wednesday's main session on Metricon Stadium's back oval and then took part in team drills as a member of the back six.

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"It's been a quick turnaround, particularly over the weekend," coach Stuart Dew said prior to the session.

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"Not a massive surprise, but we'll look at him today at full speed. He'll be a test."

Fellow small defender Budarick is racing the clock to prove his fitness after hurting his ankle in the loss against Collingwood last Sunday.

Connor Budarick handballs for Gold Coast against Brisbane in R6, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Budarick did not train on Wednesday, but is expected to be tested later in the week.

"He's probably a little bit off," Dew said.

"It'll just be checking in on where his swelling is at and can we get that to a level where he can train?"

It's been almost five years since Dew left the Swans as an assistant coach, but Gold Coast's mentor said he knew exactly what to expect after John Longmire's men went down to Brisbane at the weekend.

"They're playing a lot different to when I was there, we can all see that, but seeing it is one thing and countering it is another.

"As a good footy club is, win, lose or draw, John will be trying to maximise the ability of his team this week."