During training this week the 32-year-old all-rounder was able to bowl in the nets off just a few paces.
Watson said he will not be able to bowl at full speed until the second Test, starting in Adelaide on December 5, but he believes he can still contribute to the attack in Thursday's series-opener in Brisbane.
While pacemen Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle will launch an all-out assault on the English batsmen, Watson said he will be trying to restrict the scoring and tie the tourists down.
"I'm confident I can provide a role. I probably won't be at full capacity with the ball," he told reporters at the Gabba.
"I won't be going flat out in this Test. Like the first Test (of the last series) I had a niggle there and did a job and bowled pretty tight and gave the other bowlers a rest.
"I will be able to do a good enough job. By Adelaide I hope my body will be more hardened to go harder in the second Test.
"It will just depend on how I continue to go over the next few days and get a gauge on what capacity I'll be able to play. Everything's progressing really well at the moment."
Australia will be boosted if they can call on a fourth seamer to vary the attack, since the Gabba wicket generally flattens out during a Test match and suits batsmen who get a start in their innings.