Western Bulldogs star Jack Macrae remains in doubt to face Melbourne on Sunday as senior coach Luke Beveridge plans to name a primed side for his club's season opener.

Hamstring issues have significantly hampered Macrae's pre-season, with the Dogs ball magnet unable to feature in the club's pair of practice matches, instead featuring in a VFL hitout on limited minutes.

The situation has potentially left Macrae underdone for Round 1, with Beveridge detailing on Monday that the three-time All-Australian is no certainty of playing against the Demons.

Beveridge told media Macrae might not have had enough preparation so far this pre-season to warrant selection.

"He went OK, he went pretty well on a difficult day. He had a strong hitout, he's a little bit behind now as far as match practice goes," the premiership coach said of the midfielder's recent VFL performance.

"I mentioned right back at the start of pre-season that the team picked for Round 1 against Melbourne would be absolutely ready as far as match time goes and being able to play until the last minute. We'll consider Jack as we always would given his experience and what he's been able to do over the journey.

AFL Rd 5 - Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17: Jack Macrae of the Bulldogs in action during the round five AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Gold Coast Titans at Marvel Stadium on April 17, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

"But if we feel he's not quite ready, due to what his preparation has been in recent times, then it's more than likely he won't be in the team."

In Macrae's potential absence is likely to be debutant Ryley Sanders, who was drafted to the Dogs with their opening selection at last November's intake.

Sanders has been a standout over the summer at Whitten Oval, with a 30-disposal performance against Hawthorn earlier this month adding to a promising pre-season for the teenager.

Beveridge went as far as to say the Tasmanian has been the best rookie he's seen come through the ranks at the Kennel during his time as coach, all but confirming Sanders will face Melbourne.

"I probably compared him to some of our lads historically who you hope might be able to impact in their first year and consider how far they might be ahead of the curb," Beveridge said of the Pick 6 selection.

"He is, in a significant way, well ahead of any first-year player that I have ever seen come through our football club.

"Is it a surprise? It probably is, it is a pleasant surprise. Sam Power (Western Bulldogs list manager) worked really hard in negotiations to get us into a good position to have the opportunity to bring Ryley in. To pull that off is a bit of a coup for us.

Ryley Sanders and Lindsay Gilbee at the 2023 AFL Draft (Image via the Western Bulldogs)

"We feel he has a really bright future and we're pretty pleased it's with us."

Beveridge said young tall Sam Darcy will be used in a role that best suits the squad, with the father-son Bulldog having trialled as a second ruck option to offer some competition to veteran Rory Lobb.

While also playing down any concerns around first-string ruckman Tim English's fitness, Beveridge left the door open for Darcy to be used as a supporting ruck-forward option.

The Western Bulldogs face Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday at 1:00pm (AEDT).