North Melbourne will give Andrew Swallow until the last minute to prove he’s fit to lead the Kangaroos into Friday night’s key AFL clash with Hawthorn.
Swallow suffered a concussion when his head struck the Etihad Stadium turf in a tackle during last week’s loss to Geelong and remains in doubt for the encounter with the defending premiers.
The 29-year-old missed a club media engagement on Tuesday, but joined his teammates, albeit on light duties, at training on Wednesday.
“Obviously it was a concussion and they’re just going to test him out later in the week,” Kangaroos defender Luke McDonald said.
“We’ve got a six-day break and obviously it’s a brain injury so he’ll go through the tests later in the week.”
North suffered a heavy toll in the loss to the Cats, with Ben Cunnington (quad), Shaun Atley (ankle), Nick Dal Santo (groin) and Robin Nahas (broken finger) all injured.
But in positive signs for the ladder leaders, all four pushed their case to play against the Hawks at training at Arden Street, Nahas wearing a glove on his left hand to protect the finger that was badly broken.
The Hawks out-muscled the Roos the last time the teams met in round five last season.
North suffered a heavy loss but Hawthorn were also left counting the cost after Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis received suspensions for ugly incidents.
McDonald, who will play his 50th AFL game on Friday night, said there was no suggestion his side was looking for any form of revenge.
“They’re a physical side but I think last year the thing we were most disappointed about was losing by 10 goals – not any of the physicality stuff,” he said.
“That’s what you expect when you play such a good side like Hawthorn.
“When we reviewed that game it was all about losing by 10 goals – that’s what we were really embarrassed about.”