WARRNAMBOOL plans to ease Darcy Graham back into senior football after picking the hard-running midfielder for his first game in roughly 12 months.
The Blues premiership player has battled a persistent groin injury.
He will run out against Hampden league rival Cobden in an away fixture on Saturday.
Blues coach Ben Parkinson said Graham's inclusion was celebrated at training on Thursday night.
"He played a bit over three quarters in the 12 o'clock game last week and that was his first game since probably round six last year," he said.
"He's had a bit of a wretched run probably the past five years with footy injuries (including a knee).
"He's done a big block of training. Round one he started back with us doing a lot of footy stuff after the rehab on his groin."
Parkinson said Graham had been diligent in his rehabilitation.
"He's been down to Melbourne to see a lot of doctors, physios and masseuses," he said.
"Hopefully he gets a bit of luck and continuity which will bring a bit of enjoyment.
"It is a massive bonus for us to get him back in and everyone sees the work he puts into his body. Everyone is happy for him."
Parkinson said the Blues would temper their expectations on Graham, a player known for his endurance.
"He'll go into our midfield rotations but he won't start on the ground," he said.
"He probably wouldn't have got a go just yet if Amon (Radley) wasn't crook. We thought we played OK last week (against South Warrnambool) and everyone contributed but an opportunity presents for him and he'll take it with both hands."
Promising teenager Radley (COVID-19) will miss the clash against the Bombers.
"He's shown a bit more than I expected of him and same with Reggie (Mast) as well, we don't put any expectations on their heads," Parkinson said.
"We really just want them to go and play footy like they would if they were playing under 18s and they're still eligible for under 16s. They probably would've concentrated on playing under 18s if they weren't playing with us (in the seniors)."
Radley has settled into the Blues' top team.
"He is a bit of a competitor. He might have a bit of white line fever. He's very quiet off the field and at training," he said.
Cobden has made three changes, bringing in experienced duo Jack Hutt and Louis Robertson and debutant Isaac McVilly.
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