NIC NAITANUI is holding on to some hope of an uplifting finals comeback but won't "try to be some sort of hero" if he is not ready to return from his knee reconstruction.
West Coast coach Adam Simpson has already poured cold water on any chance of the star ruckman suiting up in Saturday week's elimination final against Port Adelaide.
But if the Eagles upset the Power, Naitanui might give West Coast's match committee something to think about during the finals series.
"I haven't ruled it out. It's something I didn't think about too much at the start of the year, but now I'm in a position I'm back training with the boys," Naitanui told Channel Seven.
"If that spot does arise … I'll put my hand up to play.
"It's marked 12 months since I did my knee, so to come back and help the boys if I can to some extent would be awesome."
Naitanui has been back training with the main group for about a month after he underwent an intensive two-week training camp with renowned knee specialist Bill Knowles in the US in mid-July.
The 201cm big man completed various drills testing out his agility and sprinted at Tuesday's training session before joining the rest of the squad.
Naitanui didn't do any ruck work, but was involved in ball movement drills and marking exercises.
How well he would return after more than a year out of the game is the great unknown, and the 27-year-old won't have the chance to play WAFL after East Perth missed out on finals.
"I don't really want to come in and try to be some sort of hero, underdone when there's someone who is fresh and has been playing some good footy all year having to jeopardise their spot," Naitanui said.
"I'll be realistic with it as well and see how I progress through training over the next couple of weeks."
Football manager Craig Vozzo told the club's website that Naitanui was "tracking beautifully".
"He's training more and more out on the ground, getting more and more confident in his movement and ripping it up in the gym as well," he said.
Gun defender Jeremy McGovern was the only Eagle who played in Sunday's win over Adelaide who failed to train on Tuesday due to a sore shoulder, but he will be fit to face the Power.
"Big Gov, always brave, obviously got that pretty significant shoulder knock," Vozzo said.
"He came (back) on and played a terrific game for us, finished off nice and strong, pulled up really sore, but our doctors have confirmed there's no structural damage."