North Melbourne coach Brad Scott is confident Jarrad Waite and Scott Thompson will overcome injury and be available for the AFL elimination final against Adelaide.
The key duo are winning their battles with hip and adductor complaints respectively and have another three training sessions to prove their fitness to take on the Crows at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
“I think they’ll both be available for selection, so we’ve got really good options there,” Scott said on Tuesday.
“But they’re going to be big decisions and it’s far too early in the week to make a definitive call either way.
“We’ve made some calls this year that have backfired in terms of bringing guys back, but we’re really conscious that Waite and Thompson, in particular, have played some pretty good footy in really big games.
“They’re proven big game performers so that will come into calculations.”
Scott said his players were feeling positive after a break, with the bye coming at the right time for his team after they limped into the finals in eighth spot on the back of four straight losses.
One of the coach’s key concerns is getting his forward set-up right with Waite likely to return and either Drew Petrie or Majak Daw the most likely to make way.
Scott may have provided a clue to his thinking when asked about Petrie’s mindset after he admitted news he wouldn’t return to the club next year affected him badly in the Roos’ loss to Greater Western Sydney.
“That’s out of his system now … it’s an elimination final so there’s a big prize at the end of it and the losers go home,” he said.
“I’m really confident his focus will be where it needs to be.
“Drew is a quality finals performer, he’s done the job for us in big games before. Other players look to him and when we’ve needed something in a big game he’s stood up.”