North Melbourne is a chance to regain key defender Ben McKay for Sunday's game against St Kilda.

The 24-year-old injured his knee three weeks ago when the Kangaroos made the trip west to face Fremantle, but fears he could miss a substantial stretch of the season subsided when scans revealed a slight medial injury.

McKay spent a brief period in a brace before he returned to training.

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Ben McKay injures his knee in a marking contest

The North Melbourne defender was substituted after he limped off the field in the third term.

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"He's progressed through everything he’s needed to do, up to now," General Manager of Football Performance Daniel McPherson told North Media.

"He'll train with the main group on Thursday in the hope that he's right to play this weekend.

"If he's not quite right on Thursday, we'll hold him back, but we'd then be pretty confident that he'll play next week."

Curtis Taylor is touch-and-go for Sunday’s match, having been substituted out of the defeat to Melbourne after a crunching collision left him with rib soreness.


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"We'll see how he trains tomorrow in the main session," McPherson revealed.

"If he's able to get through training without any issues, he'll be available for selection."

Small forward Phoenix Spicer is close to his first appearance at any level this season.

The 20-year-old has undergone a steady program to rehabilitate the latest of his hamstring injuries, in the hope it will prevent another recurrence.

"He's had a couple of really good weeks," McPherson went on.

"He'll train fully with the main group tomorrow, and then another session on the weekend. "(After that) we'll look to get him back in through the VFL, and play a half or three quarters next week."

Spicer's fellow small Jack Mahony is set to return to the selection frame, having recovered from an ankle injury he sustained at training a week ago.

"He seems to have bounced back pretty well," McPherson explained.

"We'll see how he trains on Thursday as to whether he's right to play on the weekend or not."

Ruck prospect Jacob Edwards will sit out the reserves' meeting with Sandringham this weekend, as he completes a block of training focused on his conditioning.

Edwards is in his first season as a full-time player, having balanced his studies with his club commitments after he was selected in the Mid-Season Rookie Draft in 2021.

"He'll continue that (training block) this week, and we'll plan to get him back to playing games next weekend," McPherson detailed.


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Jared Polec took part in the players' craft session on Tuesday, but it remains unclear when he'll be available for selection, with some soreness persisting.

The winger last appeared at AFL level in Round 3, after which he went under the knife to patch up a foot injury.

"He's progressing well, but it's hard to put a timeline on him at the moment. It's unlikely we'll see him before the bye," McPherson explained.

Will Phillips' recovery from a viral illness over the pre-season remains slow and steady, with the club to continue to afford the midfielder the opportunity to listen to his body. 

"He's had a couple of days off this week," McPherson added.

"We'll just see how he goes … there's no timeline on him either. He's just struggling to shake it off."

>> Click here for the full injury list, thanks to AIA Vitality


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