Melbourne's veteran lock Dale Finucane is confident of returning from a long lay-off with a calf injury for the Storm's NRL preliminary final against Canberra on Friday night.
Finucane hasn't played since round 15 in August after tearing his calf and then suffering a recent setback in his rehabilitation.
But the 29-year-old, as well as injured playmaker Cameron Munster, who trained with the main group on Monday, are tracking to line up in the Suncorp Stadium sudden death clash.
With 26,000 tickets already sold, the NRL are confident of hitting 39,000 which is 75 per cent capacity of the Brisbane venue - which hosts Melbourne's final following their relocation from Victoria this season.
That would make it the biggest crowd seen at a sporting event in Australia since the Women's T20 World Cup final at the MCG in March.
Finucane is feeling positive about his chances of being there.
"I got through a contact component of training today and I didn't have any issues with any of the contact or running the ball and getting tackled so that's a positive sign," Finucane said on Monday.
"Depending on how I pull up will determine whether I will play the game."
The Storm vice-captain thought he'd likely only be available if Melbourne made the grand final but then got a sense late last week he could make it back for the preliminary final.
"It's probably only being the back end of last week that it's kicked on a bit and felt a bit better," Finucane said.
"I'm feeling quite optimistic - I'm confident."
He said he would lift his volume and train with the team on Tuesday to push his chances for selection.
Finucane was set to play his 200th game before suffering the injury in training.
Despite the long stretch out, the NSW Origin forward felt he could handle the workload of such a huge occasion.
Meanwhile, Munster was out on deck with main squad with heavy strapping on his injured right knee.
Finucane said he hadn't spoken to the Maroons No.6 about how he pulled up but said the signs looked good for Munster to suit up against the Raiders, which would be a massive boost for the Storm.
Munster feared the worse when he was forced off late in their opening final win against Parramatta, which was the third time he'd injured his knee this season.
Australian Associated Press