Three North Melbourne defenders are raring to return from injuries for Sunday's game against Adelaide in Tasmania.

Key back Ben McKay has recovered from the concussion that forced him from the field in the Round 12 clash with Gold Coast, while Aiden Bonar looks to have shaken off the hamstring injury that's seen him sidelined for six weeks.

Draftee Kallan Dawson is also a chance to play his first game for the club this weekend, at either AFL or VFL level, should he prove his fitness after recovering from an ankle problem.

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North Melbourne Head of Performance Kevin White says he's hopeful McKay can put his string of concussions behind him.

"'Buckets' has had a few concussions this year, and he's bounced back really well from the most recent one he's had. He's tracking really well and he's got through that mandatory AFL protocol now," White told North Media.

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"He's raring to go, he's got a lot of energy about him and he's looking forward to hopefully having some continuity and consistency in the last nine rounds.

"'Bon' (Bonar) had a significant hamstring injury that involved tendon, which usually changes the timeline from 3-4 weeks to six weeks plus. Six weeks put him at the level of the bye round.

"He's trained this morning, will take on full training on Thursday and he'll be available to play this week."

"Kal Dawson came in with a high ankle sprain and was in a moon boot … last week he progressed into a percentage of our main training.

"This week is assessing how Kal goes with the full training load going into a game and then assess his likelihood of playing this week versus not playing this week."

Livewire forward Cam Zurhaar is also a chance to compete for a spot in the side this week after sitting out the last two games with a toe injury.

Zurhaar was in near career-best form at the time of the injury having kicked 14 goals in six games.

"Cam had a stress response in his toe from about three weeks back," White said.

"His plan of attack from there was to be in a moon boot for a week, go onto the Alter-G treadmill to run on 70-80 per cent of his bodyweight, then into overground running and as of today rejoining the main group."

It's not all good news for North Melbourne on the injury front though, as captain Jack Ziebell is expected to miss at least two games as he recovers from facial fractures picked up against GWS.

White says Ziebell's surgery was successful and the focus is now on his recovery.

"'Ziebs' had multiple facial fractures in the last game we had. He had surgery on it pretty quickly afterwards so he's a bit sore and sorry at the minute," White said.

"His plan of action now will be aiming to return to play in about four weeks time.

"July 9th onwards is the date we've been given, so that's about four weeks … hopefully he'll be available."

North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell sporting a black eye after the Round 13 clash with GWS. Photo: Darrian Traynor: AFL Photos

Two-time Syd Barker Medal winner Ben Cunnington is ramping up his return to play having overcome testicular cancer, with the midfield general slowly but surely re-integrating into the main group.

Cunnington hasn't featured for the Kangaroos since last year's Round 19 victory over Carlton, but the club has taken a pressure free approach with his return to play.

White says while Cunnington may be progressing in his recovery, there's still no burden on him to return this season.

"'Cunners' is going really well … he's integrated back into some of the football drills so now it's [about] getting him in a percentage of training and a percentage of conditioning," White said.

"There isn't any real pressure on him having a date for a return to play, but the pleasing thing is he's got a really return to play mindset on him. 

"He's graduating now week on week through loads and consistent loading so he's taken another really good step."

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


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