JACK Watts is "absolutely" in Melbourne's best 22, but needs to maintain consistent training standards to win his place back in the Demons' side, according to teammate Tom McDonald.
Watts was left out of Melbourne's team for its first JLT Community Series game against the Western Bulldogs, despite being fit and raring to play.
"Jack's had a really good two or three weeks and understands what is required to be selected in the team," McDonald said.
"Jack's been doing the right thing, especially the last two or three weeks and he's in line to play again soon.
"He understands what he needs to do to get picked in the team and so does everybody else."
Watts booted 38 goals and finished fifth in the club's best and fairest award after his most consistent season at AFL level in 2016.
"It's about realigning what's important for the team," McDonald said.
"I can't really tell you guys (the media) what we're working on, but it's about understanding there's roles that have to be played.
"For our team it's not about kicking goals and getting touches, it's about doing what is required for the team."
All Australian ruckman Max Gawn earlier rejected suggestions Watts was not picked due to attitude problems or fitness concerns.
"He's fit. He's been training all pre-season," Gawn told SEN on Tuesday morning.
"But for some reason or another he wasn't picked in the 24 (against the Bulldogs). I'm sure that wasn't based on because he wasn't good enough to be in the 22.
"I think that's more based on some of the training things we've seen from other guys around him, like Sam Weideman and Aaron vandenBerg, who deserved a go.
"The Jack Watts we saw last year will be the Jack Watts we see this year."
Melbourne was out on the track for almost three hours on Tuesday as they get set for their next pre-season clash against Carlton at Casey Fields this Saturday.
Watts trained strongly with the forward group and spent time after training working on his goalkicking.
Dean Kent and Jack Viney received some treatment for finger issues, while Jeff Garlett and Sam Frost completed a boxing session on the sidelines and did not join teammates out on the track.