MELBOURNE coach Paul Roos says Jack Watts is in a much better state of mind after his self-imposed demotion to the VFL last weekend, but stopped short of guaranteeing the former No.1 draft pick would return to face the Western Bulldogs on Sunday at the MCG.
Roos said there was no doubt Melbourne needed a confident Watts to be part of the senior team, and was encouraged by how positive the 24-year-old was after his VFL hit-out for the Casey Scorpions.
But he baulked at declaring Watts a certain starter for the Dogs' clash.
"I was really happy with the way he played on the weekend, he got a bit of a bounce in his step, he was really positive today," Roos said.
"I think it's been a positive outcome from purely the weekend, I think he had [the ball] 25 times, which he wouldn't have done for a long time.
"He said he enjoyed it, so in terms of selection we'll touch on that this afternoon and tomorrow."
Watts trained away from the main group on Wednesday morning, and Roos said he was fine physically despite nursing a few "bumps and bruises".
The talented forward has always faced scrutiny since he was drafted in 2008, and his diminishing form his season has sparked commentary around his future as a Demon.
While Roos said they were yet to talk about whether Watts was ready to return to AFL level this week, he was a much-needed member of the team.
"He seemed really positive today but I haven't really broached it too much," Roos said.
"He was just really uncomfortable about the performance and how he was letting his teammates down.
"As much negative stuff you hear about 'Wattsy', what the weekend showed is we need Jack Watts playing and we need him playing well.
"He gives us something we don't have and that's an incredible footy IQ, really good skills, really good decision-maker.
"We definitely need him playing in the team."
The Demons trained at Casey Fields on Wednesday as part of a focus to change the scenery and freshen up the players after a tough three weeks.
Roos said they didn't bother to review the 105-point loss to Hawthorn, with the coaches instead meeting to discuss the areas they believed they could address in the short-term.
"There wasn't a lot to be gained out of [a review]," he said.
"We had some good reviews of Freo and Sydney, so it would have been similar vision we would have showed.
"We've got a younger group so they're clearly starting to feel the pinch and that showed on Saturday.
"We're just trying to freshen the players up and get them ready to play the Bulldogs."
Jesse Hogan is expected to face the Bulldogs after missing the Hawks' clash with general soreness, while Dom Tyson continues to manage a minor medial strain but is "trending up" and should be fine to play.
However, Chris Dawes is still troubled by the calf injury that caused him to miss round five, and will be monitored at this week.
"He's one of the ones we really need to look at, where he's trending, whereas Dom's trending up, 'Dawesy's' probably trending the other way and that's the discussion I had with him today," Roos said.
"We've got to be mindful of the individual but also the team.
"There's just things he can't do in a game, which he wants to do.
"He missed that game with a calf and then came back in for two weeks, but he's still sore … certainly that's a discussion we need to have with him and the medical department."
Meanwhile, Neville Jetta is nearing a return from the concussion he sustained in round four after consulting a specialist on Tuesday night.
He will resume contact training soon and is expected to be available to play next week.