North Melbourne coach David Noble says Tarryn Thomas has put himself in the frame for a recall.

The 22-year-old was omitted from the team to face Greater Western Sydney in the Roos' final game before the bye.

Senior player Todd Goldstein suggested Thomas, with whom he is close, had been challenged to lift his professionalism.

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'It's put a real pep in our step': Noble on Cunners' training return

Senior coach David Noble says the return of Ben Cunnington to full training has provided a boost for the playing group ahead of North's clash with Adelaide.

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Noble says Thomas' efforts in training and at reserve level over the intervening weeks have impressed upon his colleagues that he is ready to return.

"He's been terrific," the senior coach told reporters at Arden Street on Thursday.

"He understood, and he's gone to work. He's had some personal issues over the last couple of weeks as well.


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"He just wants to continue to improve and get better. If he trains well today and it falls his way, he'll be back in the team, possibly."

Thomas looms as a potential inclusion for Sunday afternoon's game against Adelaide, but more good news is just over the horizon.

Two-time Syd Barker Medallist and spiritual leader Ben Cunnington returned to main training on Tuesday.

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The club has been careful not to put a timeline on his return, to ease the pressure on the Roos great following his recovery from testicular cancer.

However, there is now hope that Cunnington could pull on his No.10 for the 228th time before his season is out.

"Now (his focus) is more on loading. A few weeks is my best guess," Noble estimated.

"We'll just wait and see how his body recovers as we increase the loads, but it's put a real pep in our step.

"There are a few areas that Ben needs to tick off – diet, running, weights, recovery – but he's been really diligent.

"He's had some other players in that rehab group come through with him, so he's had some company which is always good.

"The boys are very excited to get him out in our main training skillsets."


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