Nick Dal Santo will return for North Melbourne in round 12, when they face Greater Western Sydney in a crunch clash.
The Kangaroos were competitive against Sydney on Saturday night, but paid full price for a turnover-riddled second quarter when they gave up five consecutive goals.
The 16-point loss leaves the AFL club precariously placed in 12th spot on the ladder with five wins from the opening 11 rounds.
“Before last week’s game against West Coast I mentioned our season was on a knife’s edge,” caretaker coach Darren Crocker said.
“Every time you drop one like this, it comes back to that state.
“We need to bounce back strongly and get a win against GWS.”
Crocker confirmed Dal Santo would return against the Giants, having recovered from hamstring surgery he underwent in April.
“Nick trained strongly during the week and was so close to playing, but we just felt that another week under his belt would probably benefit him,” he said.
“So he’s really raring to go.”
Daniel Wells, who like Dal Santo hasn’t played since round two, remains sidelined indefinitely due to an Achilles injury.
“They’re talking maybe 4-5 weeks, but we can’t actually really confirm that at this stage,” Crocker said.
“We’ll definitely get him back at some stage.”
The Kangaroos dearly missed Wells and Dal Santo, two of their best users of the ball, against Sydney.
“To win the clearances so convincingly (43-27) and not come away with a win goes to show we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit,” Crocker said.
“The turnovers really hurt us.”