North Melbourne midfielders Jaidyn Stephenson and Jed Anderson have both shaken off the respective fitness issues that kept them sidelined last week and are expected to return to the field this weekend. 

Stephenson was absent from the senior side that took on Geelong due to illness, while Anderson picked up a minor hamstring problem in the VFL Round 4 clash with Footscray.

General Manager of Football Performance Dan McPherson says the No.2 has recovered well from his illness.


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"Jaidyn will train fully today and be available for selection. He's bounced back really well over the weekend so he's good to go," McPherson told North Media.

"He was battling a bit at the end of last week and just wasn’t up to playing.”

Anderson is set for more game time at reserve level this weekend as he looks to improve his match fitness.

He dominated proceedings against Footscray when he first returned two weeks ago, finishing the clash with 23 disposals and six clearances while still on a minutes restriction.

McPherson says the club will continue to monitor Anderson’s game time this weekend.

"Jed will play 75-80 per cent game time on the weekend. It was pretty conservative management with him last week because he had a delayed start to his pre-season, but we're pretty comfortable with where he's at now, and we look forward to him getting back out there on Saturday," he said.

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Young forward Phoenix Spicer is set to return to the main training group in the coming weeks as he looks to ramp up his return from a hamstring injury.

After making his AFL debut in the final game of last season, Spicer re-aggravated an existing hamstring issue during pre-season.

McPherson says the club is being careful with the forward’s return to on-field activities.

"Phoenix is progressing through training but he's probably still four or five weeks away from playing. He's done a lot of foundation work and he's progressing into footy over the next week or two," McPherson said.

"We're being pretty conservative with his return and doing everything we can to try and prevent another recurrence."

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North Melbourne’s wings will be without Jared Polec for some time yet, with the midfielder still yet to return to action following his ankle surgery two weeks ago.

After starting the season in the senior side, Polec underwent surgery following the Round 4 clash with Sydney.

"'Polly' is out of the moon boot and he's beginning to weight-bear now. He's on track but his recovery is going to be slow," McPherson said.

"He'll progress through strengthening, then get on the bike and in the pool to get a bit of a fitness base under him before he starts running again."


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