There's good news for North Melbourne's key defensive stocks this week. Key defender and backline leader Ben McKay's knee injury is not as bad as initially feared.
The concern on McKay's face as he went down clutching his knee against the Dockers on Friday night was clear. He was then immediately substituted out of the game.
Exiting the game midway through the quarter, he had already registered 10 intercepts across the contest. A mark only bettered by Fremantle defender Heath Chapman who finished the game with 12.
"Ben has a slight medial injury from late in the game over in Perth the other night," General manager of football performance Dan McPherson told North Media.
"He'll be in a brace for a week or so and then we expect he'll come to hand pretty quickly after that.
"We'd expect he'll miss one, maybe two games and then hopefully that's it."
The news for young defender Miller Bergman is, however, not so good. The club's newest Shinboner is expected to miss the remainder of the season after dislocating his shoulder on his AFL debut.
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With his first possession in senior football, Bergman was tackled by Carlton's Matthew Owies and landed awkwardly on his right shoulder. He was immediately removed from the game.
McPherson says the goal is now to set Bergman up for the 2023 season.
"Miller had a shoulder operation on Monday. Unfortunately that probably means the end of the season for him," he said.
"While it's disappointing that it's happened in his first game, we'll prepare him even this far out for next season so he can hit the ground running and be in really good shape for pre-season."
Key forward Charlie Comben has been on fire at VFL level so far this season, but his prospects of an uninterrupted campaign have been put to bed by a niggling knee issue in recent weeks.
Comben missed the VFL clash with Carlton two weeks ago after having some fluid drained out of his knee. He returned to VFL action against Geelong on Saturday and finished the game with two goals and three behinds.
McPherson says the club will look to manage him in the coming weeks as he pushes for a senior recall.
"Charlie's had a bit of a frustrating run. He's been able to play a game, then miss a game, then play another game in the VFL," McPherson said.
"He's got a grumble in his knee that's frustrating him and preventing him from getting a good block of footy and training under his belt.
"At this stage it's sort of a week-by-week management thing and hopefully it'll calm down and he'll be able to get a good run at it."
Eddie Ford and Aiden Bonar are both set to remain on the sidelines until the middle of the season as the pair nurse ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.
Both suffered their injuries at training. Ford rolled his ankle in a tackle while Bonar's hamstring issue occurred while running.
"Eddie Ford has got a slight syndesmosis injury at the moment and we expect it'll probably be around the bye before he gets back in action," McPherson said.
"Aiden unfortunately hurt his hamstring last week. He was slowing down and it was during that deceleration he felt a bit of a pop in the hamstring. It'll probably be around one month until he's back which is a bit of a shame.
Aaron Hall's recovery from his own hamstring problem is progressing well, and the defender expects to be in the conversation for a return to action sooner rather than later.
Hall has been absent from the side since Round 5 where he was removed from the game against the Dogs late in the second quarter following a tackle from Bulldog Aaron Naughton.
"Aaron Hall is ticking along pretty well [and is] coming through the final stages of increasing his speed at training. He's probably still a week or two away but he's making good progress."