Out-of-favour Western Bulldogs midfielder Jack Macrae couldn't have done more to regain his spot in the senior side.

Following an injury-interrupted pre-season, whereby he was battling a stress-related issue through his femur, Macrae was deemed "not far away" for the Round 1 clash against Melbourne although missed out on selection.

The midfield group was dominated by the Demon outfit and calls to bring in the three-time All-Australian seemed likely to rectify their clearance issues.

However, coach Luke Beveridge opted to stick with the young brigade of Ryley Sanders and Harvey Gallagher ahead of Macrae when taking on Gold Coast in Ballarat.

As a result, the 30-year-old faced the Giants in the VFL and staked colossal claims to be recalled despite the strong victory by the senior side.

The Bulldogs were faultless against the Suns, winning by 48 points, but Macrae's performance was no small feat, gathering 47 disposals and 17 clearances.

During the week, Beveridge admitted that the 2016 premiership player was getting close to being picked but would be delayed by at least a week, creating confusion on where he stands at the Kennel.

“We're setting (Macrae) up to succeed against some of the better midfields. We feel like Gold Coast's group is one of the best groups in the competition at the moment,” Beveridge said during the week.

“Jack's almost there, some encouraging signs again last week … he can't be sub, he's got to play a full game. He'll most likely play against GWS on Sunday in the twos.

“Jack understands and so does our whole group, that now we're in a period of significant evolution again, when you consider coming off 2022 out of an elimination final, last year finishing ninth … the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect that thinking you're going to get a different result.

“So some of the lads who are a little bit behind or who maybe haven't been as prolific as some of the younger guys during pre-season have found themselves out of the team, like Jack and obviously CD (Daniel) as the sub last week."

Speculation has grown on Macrae's availability despite being contracted until the end of 2027, with reports suggesting rival clubs will show interest for next year and beyond.

According to Tom Morris, clubs will look to see if they could "pry him out of the Bulldogs".