Wednesday looms as Josh Kelly's final chance to prove to GWS he is ready for the rigours of a knock-out AFL final but the deck is stacked against the injured star.
Kelly hurt his knee in the opening quarter of the Giants' elimination final against Sydney. He played no further part in that game.
The 23-year-old is yet to resume running because of the torn meniscus, underlining why he is such an unlikely starter in Saturday's semi-final against Collingwood at the MCG.
He failed to train on Tuesday.
If the gun midfielder is unable to prove his fitness on Wednesday night, when GWS will conduct their main session for the week behind closed doors, then the club is likely to privately concede the risk of playing him is too great.
Coach Leon Cameron and captain Callan Ward are both yet to give up hope.
"He's still a bit sore but at the same time he's a lot better today than he was yesterday. Yesterday he was a lot better than Sunday," Ward told AAP.
"He's improved a lot. Hopefully that progression continues.
"We'd love to have him out there, fresh and ready to go, but at the same time we've got guys who can come in and play really well for us. I've got full belief in whoever would come in."
Young gun Aiden Bonar and former Western Bulldogs captain Ryan Griffen headline the list of likely inclusions, should Kelly be an enforced omission as is expected.
Brent Daniels, another youngster in the mix to potentially replace Kelly, has recently been restricted by a sore back.
Cameron admitted Kelly's chances of proving his fitness this week were "probably minor".
"But we're going to give him every chance," Cameron told radio station SEN.
Kelly is the expansion club's reigning best and fairest, whose value is reflected by the fact North Melbourne offered him a nine-year deal in 2017 that was worth $10 million.
"Knowing Josh, he's just hell-bent on playing footy, especially in September; he'll be doing everything possible," Cameron said.
"If it settles and settles really well and we feel as though he can perform his role ... we'll give him right up to the end of the week."
The good news for GWS is that Kelly should be back in the selection frame for a preliminary-final stoush with Richmond, should they defeat the Magpies this weekend.
"There's still a good chance that Josh Kelly will be playing again this year," Cameron said.
Ruckman Dawson Simpson, who was expected to miss the season, is well ahead of schedule in his recovery from a broken ankle and could also be in the mix for a recall next week.
GWS defenders Aidan Corr (groin) and Sam Taylor (hamstring) have started running again but will find it hard to earn an AFL recall this month, barring an injury to an incumbent backman.