On the comeback trail following his cancer battle, Ben Cunnington is providing a significant boost for North Melbourne.
The veteran midfielder has been ramping up his training schedule at Arden St as he eyes a remarkable return to the AFL.
North will use the next three weeks to decide on a return date for Cunnington, who completed a nine-week course of chemotherapy to treat a secondary testicular cancer diagnosis last November.
"We'll just wait and see how his body recovers, as we start to increase the loads," senior coach David Noble told reporters on Thursday.
"It's brought a real pep in our step with him coming back out and the boys are very excited to get him back out into some of our main training sets.
"Our fans should be looking forward to something in the next few weeks, we're hoping.
"There's obviously some areas Ben needs to tick off from a medical perspective; diet, running, weights and recovery.
"But he's been really diligent and he's had other players in that rehab group so he's had some company, which is always good."
North will fancy its chances of ending its winless streak on Sunday when it hosts fellow strugglers Adelaide at Hobart's Blundstone Arena.
"It gives us a chance to go down to Tassie, where we like playing, and we generally get good support down there," Noble said.