Stanley has been sidelined since Geelong's trip to South Australia to face West Coast in Gather Round due to a facial fracture, with the premiership veteran making his return to the field last weekend in the VFL.
The Cats could also welcome back Irishman Oisin Mullin for the Round 15 clash after an adductor injury, while young midfielder Tanner Bruhn looks to have shaken off a shoulder concern to be in the mix to face Melbourne as well.
“Rhys played three quarters of football and did a bit of top up running at the very end and we expect Rhys to be available this week,” Geelong football boss Simon Lloyd said in a club injury update.
“Obviously it's been a long period of time with Rhys's recovery from a facial fracture but great to have him back.
“Tanner suffered a shoulder injury and was able to play out the game and Oisin missed with an adductor last week as well, so both those players have trained strongly today and we expect them to both be available this week.”
Stanley's return will come after second-string ruckman Jon Ceglar was sidelined with an adductor injury for last week's matchup with Port Adelaide.
Ceglar, alongside defender Esava Ratugolea (hamstring) have both commenced training but will require more time in rehabilitation.
“Esava is training really well and hitting all of his high speed markers, so the decision will be made between Chris Scott and the coaching team, working very closely with the medical department, as to when he's available but he's very close," Lloyd said.
“We'll be guided by our medical team," Lloyd said on Dangerfield's return timeframe.
"He was obviously quite ginger post game but he's moving around freely now but it we will be guided by our medical team as to all of the results that they receive throughout the course of the week and we'll judge his availability in due course.”
“Sam's obviously come back from a long lay off with knee arthroscopes and Shannon Neale with ankle surgery, but they'll both return this week and play some VFL football," Lloyd said.
“It's really exciting for our fans, our supporters and our members and exciting for the club as well to have both Sam and Shannon return in the hoops this week.”
Geelong will host Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium on Thursday night at 7:20pm (AEST).