North Melbourne Kangaroos champion Ben Cunnington will make his long-awaited return via the VFL in Sunday's clash with the Sydney Swans at Arden Street Oval.
Cunnington has not played footy at any level since Round 19, 2021 after battling testicular cancer.
Sunday will make it 379 days between games.
The 31-year-old was tracking well to return last month before tweaking his calf at training, and last week tested positive for COVID-19.
Interim AFL senior coach Leigh Adams was weighing up whether to bring him straight back in via the seniors, but the club has erred on the side of caution after discussion with the medical staff.
Joining Cunnington in the VFL side will be senior teammates Jack Mahony, Josh Walker and Aiden Bonar.
Mahony will return after exiting health and safety protocols, while Bonar (AFL omission) and Walker (unused AFL medi-sub) will also face the Swans.
Cooper Smith (shoulder), Tom Williamson (head knock), Hamish Murphy and Sam Collins go out from the side which lost to Essendon by 29 points.
The Roos will be out to win their fourth game of the season, while the Swans will be looking to solidify their spot in the top four with a third-straight victory.
Sunday, August 7
North Melbourne v Sydney Swans at Arden Street Oval, 11.05am AEST
|B:||15. A. Bosenavulagi||15. J. Walker||53. M. Hore|
|HB:||41. M. McGuinness||16. A. Bonar||33. P. Walker|
|C:||32. J. Goater||26. T. Thomas||10. B. Cunnington|
|HF:||40. E.Ford||36. P. Spicer||49. H. Jones|
|F:||30. C. Comben||54. K. Answerth||1. J. Mahony|
|Foll:||32. J. Edwards||46. D. Tyson||37. K. Hayden|
|I/C:||58. B. Stevens||60. N. Beattie||61. M. Mitchell-Russell|
|66. Z. Monkhorst||70. J. Watkins|
|23rd Player:||60. N. Beattie|
|Emerg:||48. H. Murphy||59. J. Lipscombe||62. S. Collins|
|68. J. Guthrie||75. C. Weightman|
|INS:||1. J. Mahony||10. B. Cunnington||15. J. Walker|
|16. A. Bonar|
|OUTS:||48. H. Murphy||51. T. Williamson||58. C. Smith|
|62. S. Collins|