The troops are well and truly on the way back for North Melbourne, with the playing stocks set to be further bolstered in the coming weeks.
Aiden Bonar looks set to participate in next week’s VFL clash with Essendon, as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury suffered in Round 8 against Collingwood.
“'Bon' is tracking well with his rehab and he’s training with the main group. The plan is at this stage to give him some minutes in the VFL next week,” GM Football Brady Rawlings told North Media.
“He’s missed quite a number of weeks so we’ll clearly have to progress him through the VFL.
“The discussion surrounding how many minutes he plays will no doubt occur next week.”
Taylor Garner’s ankle injury has proven more troublesome than first thought, with the number-six progressing back to over ground running on Friday.
Garner suffered the injury in his fourth appearance of the season, after kicking six goals in his first three senior games of 2021.
Rawlings says another good week of training could hold him in good stead for a return sooner rather than later.
“The swelling didn’t quite dissipate the way we would have liked in that initial couple of weeks which has slowed down the recovery period for Taylor,” he said.
“We had a good week progressing him back to doing over ground runs today … unfortunately he’s missed a few more weeks than we initially thought he might.
“Fingers crossed he has another good week next week and he gets closer to a return to playing games.”
Mid-season draftee Charlie Ham is set for a short stint on the sidelines after picking up an ankle knock in last week’s VFL clash with Footscray.
“Charlie unfortunately injured himself as he’s gone to wind up for a big kick inside 50 he’s kicked an opponent in his kicking action,” Rawlings said.
“He was assessed earlier in the week and no surgery is required which was a really good result.
“Given the amount of swelling and being off legs for a week, the initial prognosis is he’ll probably miss 2-3 weeks.”
Charlie Comben is inching closer to a return to football, after overcoming the tibial stress fracture that has plagued him all season.
Having suffered the injury in pre-season, fans are yet to see Comben in a North jumper, however Rawlings says that could soon change.
“Charlie’s progressing well and is looking at some limited minutes at VFL minutes in the coming weeks. We’re hoping to see him out on the park very soon,” he said.
“He’s obviously missed a lot of football during his time at the club and we’re excited to have him in a position where he’s almost ready to take part in games in some capacity.”
Aidan Corr’s recovery form a toe infection continues to progress, however the lack of conditioning training he was able to undertake during recovery has left him with a long road back to match sharpness.
Rawlings says while the club hasn’t ruled out a return for Corr this season, the main focus is returning him to full fitness.
“The nature of the infection meant that he (Corr) couldn’t do any activity for such a long time. No sweating can occur during that recovery period. It’s been a long time with a lack of activity therefore he’s lost a lot of fitness,” he added.
“We’ve had him back running, he’s done some change of direction this week and pulled up well from that.
“There’s a chance he plays this season and we want to be able to give him that chance, but he’s certainly not back to playing within the next few weeks anyway.”