PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 13: (L-R) Ryan Gardner, Alex Keath and Stefan Martin of the Bulldogs in action during the Western Bulldogs training session at Optus Stadium on September 13, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

After pulling up tight at the end of the Bulldogs semi-final victory over Brisbane, Alex Keath will likely make his return from injury in next weekend's Grand Final.

Keath has had a career-best season playing an important key defensive role for the Dogs, featuring in 22 matches this year and averaging 6.5 intercept possessions.

The 29-year-old was replaced by Zaine Cordy for the Bulldogs' preliminary final against Port, where Cordy was able to play an important lockdown role on Power forward Todd Marshall.

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Whilst the Dogs are optimistic, both Keath and teammate Laitham Vandermeer (hamstring) will face fitness tests in the lead up to the Final.

"We didn't want to take any risks, so he didn't play on the weekend," Bulldogs head of medical services Chris Bell revealed for Keath, per the club's report.

"Alex is now clear of symptoms and we are currently reloading his speed.

"He will look to full train next week and we remain optimistic that he will be pulling the jumper on for the Grand Final."

Keath will be a vital inclusion as the Melbourne forward line was in full flight last weekend, with Ben Brown and Bayley Fritsch both scoring multiple goals.

Vandermeer was subbed out of last Saturday's match also with some hamstring tightness.

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Western Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains provided an update on SEN’s Whateley this week, noting the small forward has dodged any major concern on his setback.

“He was cleared of any structural hamstring damage," Bains revealed.

"He’s got a history of hamstring injuries. He got a corky and felt a bit of tightness so we didn’t take any risk with that and came off."

While Keath and Vandermeer will need to prove their fitness, fan-favourite Cody Weightman will be available for selection for the season-decider.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 04: Cody Weightman of the Bulldogs celebrates kicking a goal during the round 16 AFL match between Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium on July 04, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

It is likely that Cordy - a member of the Bulldogs' 2016 premiership side - will miss the Grand Final, while selection calls could also see either Ryan Gardner, Anthony Scott or Jason Johannisen fall out of Luke Beveridge's side.