Australia, who have to beat South Africa in Perth to go top of the world rankings, are set to recall all-rounder Shane Watson for his first Test on home soil since the 3-1 Ashes defeat two years ago.

Watson has been sidelined by a calf injury picked up on Sheffield Shield duty prior to the series.

He was set to play as a batsman only in Adelaide but, after sitting out an extra week, believes he is now ready to grab the ball too and help an Australian attack still recovering from their final-day exertions in Adelaide.

"Over the last week I've been gradually building up my running and my bowling," Watson said.

"I bowled six overs in the nets yesterday before we left in Adelaide so I'm certainly going to be up to bowling as many overs as Michael [Clarke] wants and probably the normal sort of workload really that I bowl in a Test match.

"Things have progressed really well over the past week so I'm ready to go."

Both sides could opt to employ four-pronged pace attacks on a wicket suited to the fast men.

Australia demolished India in just over two days in Perth earlier this year after utilising four quicks, meaning Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson could come into the frame for off-spinner Nathan Lyon and the injured James Pattinson.

South Africa are unlikely to retain leg-spinner Imran Tahir after his dismal Adelaide Test, with the tourists hopeful Vernon Philander can return after pulling out on the eve of the match with a back complaint.

All-rounder Jacques Kallis, who injured a hamstring on the opening day of the second Test, will play despite medics confirming he will be unable to bowl.