Launceston Tornadoes import Brittany Hodges will be given until game day on Saturday to prove her fitness for the rivalry-round home clash against Hobart Huskies.
The key power forward has been forced out of the club's past three NBL1 matches over a hamstring strain.
The Tornadoes in that time have lost every appearance without the 26-year-old signing, sinking to a 3-9 record and all but discounting a berth in the finals for the first time in five years.
Coach Derrick Washington confirmed that Hodges was back at practice, but he refused to be sidetracked by any lingering doubts to play.
"Brittany is back today, so we'll see how she goes come game time," Washington said on Wednesday. "But I feel we have local talent anyway that can step up to the challenge.
"We played Geelong really well - they're the best team in the league and they were big too. We know we can really compete with Geelong, so we can compete with Hobart.
"Even if we're outsized, we still have got a lot of heart on our team. So it's day-to-day.
"Obviously, we are going to try and put her out there."
The Tornadoes will take on departed teammate Ellie Collins not for the first time this year, but the first time back at Elphin Sports Centre.
Only last year Washington moulded the Hobart-raised Collins into a starting five towards earning a spot on the summer roster at Perth Lynx.
Collins left the Torns to return home following two seasons after she completed uni studies in Launceston.
"Ellie is the leading scorer [for Hobart] and she is going to be excited for the game up here," Washington said.
"We know she's going to go hard. We can't focus just on that. We know they have a lot of other great talent on their team. We just have to make sure we contain everybody."
The Torns defeated the intrastate rivals 105-95 to notch up a first win in their opening three games.
Washington wants to work off that confidence to get a winning run back up again.
"We are excited for this game, especially as it's a rivalry game. We know what we need to do. It's not going to be an easy one," he said.