Boosted by a fortnight off before the AFL finals, St Kilda key forward Max King feels his injury-plagued body will handle the rigours of September.
Having King and fellow key forward Tim Membrey back as a combination is a major boost for the Saints ahead of Saturday's MCG elimination final against GWS.
Apart from the pre-finals bye, King was also rested for their round-24 loss in Brisbane.
King needed shoulder surgery after a pre-season injury and he suffered another shoulder issue in round 17 that initially threatened to end his season.
But King returned in round 21 and Membrey has also played the last three games after recovering from his knee problems through the year.
"When you have a couple of setbacks and your season's up in the air a bit, I'm just really grateful to be out here training and playing each week," King said on Monday
"I really excited to get into it and you definitely don't take it for granted when you have a few hiccups along the way.
"I'm ready to go. Each session it gets better and when you go out there on game day, you're 100 per cent - you're expected to play your role and do what you can do.
"It was a good opportunity to get a solid training block in (pre-finals) and I feel like we've done that. I'm in a good place with my body."
The prognosis was initially grim after King's round-17 injury in July, but surgery went better than expected.
"Early days ... it was all sort-of up in the air. But we took the emotion out of it and had a few really good chats," he said.
"I'm just grateful we landed in a position that let me play out the backend of the year and contribute in September.
"It's deflating. I love playing footy and I just want to be out there each week.
"There's definitely a special feeling in this group, so I want to be part of that and I really want to contribute. When that flashes before your eyes, it's not a good feeling. I'm just so grateful to be out there."
King added that having Membrey back in the side had been a significant boost.
"Tim's so valuable to us. He's a great leader and you just know what you're going to get from him on the field," he said.
"It's really exciting. He put in a power of work to be able to get back."
Saturday will be St Kilda's first final in Melbourne since 2011 and their first major-round match at the MCG since they lost the 2010 grand final replay.
Their most recent finals three years ago were played in Queensland because of COVID-19.
"We know the massive opportunity that we have in front of us. Saints supporters have been loyal and pretty starved over the years, so we're really excited to give them a taste of September and see what we can do," King said.