North Melbourne’s player stocks look set for a boost in the coming weeks, with a number of players expected back from injury.
The VFL program is set to be buoyed by the inclusion of inside-midfielder Jed Anderson this week, with the 27-year-old reaching the point in his recovery where he’s able to participate in games.
Anderson suffered an ankle injury in Round 3 against the Western Bulldogs, undergoing surgery to help fix the issue.
GM Football Brady Rawlings says Anderson is firmly in the frame for an AFL recall later in the year, should his recovery progress as planned.
“Jed’s playing some minutes at VFL level which is a great result for us … the plan is to continue to progress him with game time and hopefully get him back in the AFL side once he has completed the minutes we are after at VFL,” Rawlings told North Media.
“He’s ticked every box in his rehab plan since the injury earlier in the season … he’ll get some good minutes.”
After showing some positive signs in the VFL early in the season, first-year player Phoenix Spicer has been missing in recent weeks due to a hamstring injury.
Due to the potential for soft tissue injuries to repeat, Rawlings says the club has been cautious with Spicer’s reintegration into match play.
“Phoenix being a first-year player means we’re ultra conservative with our rehabilitation from soft tissue injuries, so he’s been progressing well but slowly,” he said.
“He’s training with the group and has been for quite some time. We think another week of training will do him the world of good.
“We don’t want him to be at risk of a recurrence … but he’s a chance to put his hand up to play VFL next week.”
Dom Tyson’s recovery from a calf injury has ramped up in recent times, with the midfielder increasing his training loads as he looks to return to competitive football.
Tyson played the first two AFL games of the season before suffering the injury, but Rawlings says he expects the number 21 to be back in contention in the coming weeks.
“Dom’s going quite well … he’s made some good progress and we hope to have him involved in games soon,” he said.
“He won’t be playing this week in the VFL since he still has a little bit more training to complete, but we’ll certainly look to see him back soon.”
Will Walker will be looking to put an injury-hit first part of the year behind him as he recovers from a calf issue, hoping to throw his hat into the ring for VFL football sooner rather than later.
With a thumb injury initially keeping him on the sidelines, Walker’s return to the fold was delayed due to a calf knock suffered in training.
“Will’s on track, he won’t get up for this weekend but he has had a good week on the track,” Rawlings said.
“He should be in a position where he puts his hand up to play VFL next week.”
Matt McGuinness was another player that was in line to return to the VFL in the coming weeks, but unfortunately re-injured his foot on Thursday at training and an expected return date is still to be determined.