Star Western Bulldog Bailey Smith is likely to line up for his side's AFL blockbuster clash with Essendon after beating the flu.
Midfielder Smith missed the Bulldogs' narrow loss to Sydney with his illness after struggling through their previous contest against Collingwood, managing just 11 disposals.
Coach Luke Beveridge later passionately defended Smith's outing against the Magpies, stating he was sick during the lacklustre performance.
The Bulldogs said on Monday Smith will be monitored at training ahead of Friday night's contest, where his seventh-ranked side will battle eight-placed Essendon in a clash with serious finals implications.
"Bailey Smith started to come down with some flu symptoms immediately following our round 17 game against the Pies," Bulldogs sports medicine head Chris Bell said.
"He had a really quiet week last week whilst he recovered, but in some good news he has improved and is re-energised ... I am expecting him to return to availability."
But young defender Sam Darcy is set for an extended period on the sidelines, suffering a corked quad in the Sydney loss that's caused a bleed in his thigh.
Unlucky Darcy was playing his first AFL game since round two, having spent time out with lung and jaw injuries.
"In a marking contest at the end of the first quarter, he suffered a big blow to the outside part of his quad thigh muscle," Bell said.
"Sam has suffered extensive bleeding and swelling into his thigh and lower leg ... we will manage Sam conservatively but do expect him to miss the next few games of footy."
James O'Donnell and Lachie McNeil will both miss the Bombers game with concussion.