Jy Simpkin looks set to return to North Melbourne's midfield this week after shaking off the hamstring issue that kept him out of the Round 9 clash with Port Adelaide.

Simpkin, who had been an ever-present in the Kangaroos' line-up until his late omission from the side last week, was replaced in the team by Kyron Hayden after having hamstring tightness ahead of the fixture.

He says less than ideal preparation placed him behind the eight-ball in terms of pre-game preparation.


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"Throughout the week I was quite crook and spent a couple of days in bed, then we got down to Tasmania for Captain's Run and it [hamstring] really tightened up for a couple of days," Simpkin said.

"It was my left hammy and there was a bit of overload through it … I'll be back this week.

"Unfortunately I wasn't able to play because the medical staff just made a decision that it'd be too much of a risk if I went out there."

In the midst of the overall clash with Narrm (Melbourne) on Saturday there will be a smaller individual battle in the centre of the ground as Simpkin goes head to head with childhood friend Clayton Oliver.

The pair grew up playing junior football together in Mooroopna and has time has gone on they've progressed to become two of the top midfielders in the competition.

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Simpkin says the clash between the pair coming in Sir Doug Nicholls Round makes it even more special.

"I love coming out and playing in Indigenous Round, it's one of my favourite games of the season. To be able to represent your family and where you come from is awesome," he said.

"Clayton and I have been speaking about this for a couple of weeks now and we can't wait to come up against each other.

"I love playing against him and hopefully I can get under his skin a little bit … we used to play together back in [under 14s] and 16s so it'll be a good time."


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