Dan Hannebery has confirmed his availability if the Saints are able to lock in a finals berth.
After completing another training session with Geelong's Gary Ablett and Richmond's Shane Edwards on Wednesday inside the AFL's Palm Meadows quarantine hub, Hannebery declared himself recovered from surgery to his right hamstring.
"I was speaking to a few of the fitness people about being ready for that last game (Round 18, versus GWS on Friday September 18) but the fact I've come back from surgery, and I will probably only get one full session in with the group, it could be one of those ones where it is out of my hands, and they may want to get another couple of sessions in," Hannebery said.
"Timing is probably a bit stiff, but I will certainly be ready to go in some sort of scratch match on that (pre-finals) bye weekend."
Hannebery played in the Saints' opening five matches of 2020 but not since, with hamstring problems again flaring. The same complaint restricted him to just five matches in his first year as a Saint in 2019.
"The way I feel, and the way I've been training these past few weeks, if I wasn't in quarantine, I'd probably put my hand up to play that Round 18 game," Hannebery said.
"But given the fact I'm not with the main group, it makes sense to get a few more than one session in before playing an AFL game."
Hannebery, a three-time All-Australian and 2012 premiership player, looked as sharp on the track as at any stage of the week he has been inside the quarantine hub.
He is hopeful that the surgery has eliminated the niggling problems which also marred his final season with the Sydney Swans in 2018.
"The surgeon said there was a bit of funky stuff in there, so hopefully, fingers crossed, that's the end of it, that's been the problem side (right hamstring) the whole way through, the left has been good, touch wood, but it's been the same spot, same area … so hopefully I stay healthy from here on in," Hannebery said.
With the AFL and its clubs in continued discussions with the Queensland Government about travel and holiday protocols for players whose seasons will be finished after round 18, Hannebery said a mature approach to the matter was required.
"I'd be surprised if guys are getting told to go home," Hannebery said.
"The clear message will be: be smart, behave, be mature, enjoy yourself, relax, go to a café for breakfast, go to a restaurant for dinner, enjoy a few beers with the season over in the right way.
"I think the players deserve to have a bit if a break and a holiday because the reality is we have been uprooted out of homes and been away from family for a long time.
"It's been a never-ending year where guys have just been accepting of the path we are on. I think the players and the coaching staff of every club have done an amazing job to keep the season alive, as have the AFL, as have the governments.
"So in that regard I'd be surprised if we're not allowed, in the right and mature way, to go about our business and enjoy some time off."