North Melbourne’s list is set to be bolstered ahead of Round 1, with a number of players shaking off injury to put their hands up for selection ahead of the season-opener against Hawthorn.

After impressing over the course of the pre-season, Jared Polec’s progress was halted by an ankle injury suffered in the closing stages of the AAMI Community Series clash with Sydney two weeks ago.

Head of Football Performance Dan McPherson says Polec is fit and available for Round 1.

“‘Polly’ hurt his ankle at the end of the Sydney game, he just rolled it on another players’ foot so he was a bit sore for a few days,” McPherson told North Media.

“He’s recovered really well from the week off we had last week so we expect him to play. He’ll train this week and play on the weekend.”


Aaron Hall looks to have recovered from the hamstring injury suffered at the intraclub game a few weeks ago, with the defender aiming for a Round 1 start against Hawthorn.

McPherson says Hall used his time on the sidelines to better set himself up for the long season ahead.

“He (Hall) reintegrated back into full training last week so he’ll be available for selection … it’s actually given him a really good opportunity to build a strong re-conditioning block,” McPherson said.

After missing last week’s main training session, Cam Zurhaar is expected to take his spot in the forward line against the Hawks.

“[Cam] pulled up with a bit of soreness in his foot/toe area but he’s back training this week and we fully expect him to play this weekend … we took a cautious approach with him,” McPherson said.


New recruit Callum Coleman-Jones exited the field early in the practice match against the Demons with a knee injury, but is expected to compete for a spot in the team this weekend.

“It was just a bone-bruising, collision incident. If it had been a premiership game he probably would have played against Sydney, but we took the cautious approach,” McPherson said.

“He’ll be ready to play this weekend.”

Flynn Perez will play his first game of football in over a year this weekend after being cleared for a return to action after recovering from a ruptured ACL.

After playing the final three games of the 2020 season, Perez injured his knee in the 2021 pre-season.

“Flynn has done everything and ticked all the boxes to come back from an ACL … we got him tested up in Canberra last week and he got the green light to go ahead,” McPherson said.

“He’ll resume playing this weekend which is great.”


After suffering both wrist and calf injuries this pre-season, Aiden Bonar looks set to return to the field this weekend.

‘Bon’ had some wrist surgery early in the pre-season … he got full clearance a couple of weeks ago but he’s also had a little calf injury that coincided with the wrist as well, so that’s held him back a little bit,” McPherson said.

"He’ll be available to play this weekend.”

After missing most of pre-season, Jed Anderson will be slowly reintegrated into the side with the club mindful of building his conditioning before making him available for selection.

“[Jed is] in a reconditioning phase at the moment and there won’t be any rush. We’d rather build a really solid base with him and then when he’s back he’s able to continue on then,” McPherson said.

"We don’t want to put a number on it but he’s probably six weeks away.”


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Will Phillips is set to return to light training duties in the near future after recently contracting glandular fever.

The former No.3 draft pick has been unavailable for training as he looks to recover from the illness.

“Will was really fatigued after the Melbourne game and struggled to recover which was a bit odd. We got some blood tests done and it came back as glandular fever which was unfortunate for Will since he’d had a really good pre-season,” McPherson said.

"He’s going really well from a health perspective, his latest set of blood tests have come back all clear so he’ll slowly start to integrate doing a little bit of gym work and then also some low level skill work as well.

"We’ll take a pretty slow approach with Will guided by how he’s feeling.”

Young forward Phoenix Spicer is set for a longer stint on the sidelines after reaggravating an existing hamstring injury in recent weeks.

Spicer, who debuted in the final game of the 2021 season, will take a slow and cautious approach in recovering from this latest setback.


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