Johnathan Thurston is set to be named for the Kangaroos on Wednesday despite missing his past two NRL games for North Queensland with a calf injury.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga is likely to be forced into just two changes when when he announces his squad on Wednesday to take on New Zealand in next month's mid-year Test.
And he is hopeful Thurston won't be the third, with the incumbent No.7 expected to be passed fit to take on Parramatta next Friday before going into Kangaroos camp.
'We're very fortunate John wants to play,' Meninga told ABC Grandstand on Sunday.
'We're fortunate we've got Steve Sartori and Chris Ball are on their medical staff, the Cowboys medical staff are also our staff, so we've got inside information happening all the time.
'I know he's going to have a final run next Tuesday in the lead-up to the Friday game in the hope he might be right for the Cowboys. We'll take it from there.
'We're picking the side on Wednesday, more than likely we'll pick him and see how it transpires.'
Matt Scott and Greg Inglis (both ACL) are the only players unavailable from Australia's last-start win over New Zealand in the Four Nations final.
Will Chambers and Justin O'Neill are vying for the vacant centre spot, while Aaron Woods was the extra prop in the Four Nations squad.
He could face pressure from Andrew Fifita, who Meninga said was back in contention after being overlooked because of the NRL integrity unit's investigation into off-field issues last year.
'It's not my choice he missed the Four Nations. He's paid his penance and paid his dues. The integrity unit has finished off whatever they needed to and he's in the clear now,' Meninga said.