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It's Ben a while

There were smiles all around at North Melbourne training after a familiar face returned to the fold.

Benjamin Warren had his first session and received no sympathy from rehabilitation assistant coach Daniel Lowrey.

“It’s good to be back even though I’m restricted in what I can and can’t do. I have to wear the moonboot for a little while longer but just being apart of training again is a real boost after spending too many days on my back,” Warren commented.

“It was good to see him upright and happy but we soon wiped the smile off his face with an intense boxing program,” Lowrey told

It’s been a year of mixed emotions for the Queenslander, his break-out performances in the AFL have been almost overshadowed by a terrible run with injury. The first setback came in round 11 against St.Kilda when he fractured his cheekbone. Just two weeks later he returned to take on the Bulldogs at the MCG and received another cruel blow. The promising young forward broke his leg after an off the ball incident on the wing in front of the Southern Stand.

“It’s been pretty disappointing for Ben, but he has the right character to enable him to bounce back bigger and better next year,” Chief of Football Donald McDonald said.

“He’s been an absolute revelation in 2009 and it’s going to be exciting to see what he can produce after a full pre-season in 2010.”