Luckless North Melbourne defender Lachie Hansen is poised to make his long-awaited AFL return from injury.
Hansen, 27, has managed just one game this season after suffering a serious concussion and a knee injury.
But coach Brad Scott revealed he is a chance to play his first game since round two when the Roos take on the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night.
“He’ll most likely be in our squad of 25 this week based on his game for Werribee last week, but it was one of his first games back (from injury),” Scott said.
“He’s just had a really wretched run this year with a variety of niggles, not one particular problem, just every time he gets over one little niggle he picks up another one.
“But his form was really good last week and we know he’s a quality player and he’s a player who will make us a better side. So we’re really keen to get him back in as quickly as we can, but we’ve got to get him fit first.
“It’s just getting some continuity of footy so that we’re sure he can stand up to the rigours of AFL.”
Hansen is one of a number of players set to press their claims for a senior return after being sidelined by injury.
In the next fortnight, Shaun Higgins (knee), Luke McDonald (hamstring), Taylor Garner (knee/hamstring), Kayne Turner (hamstring) and Sam Wright (ankle) are all slated to return.
The news isn’t as good for key forward Jarrad Waite, who underwent exploratory surgery on a troublesome hip this week.
Scott said it was too early to tell whether Waite would be able to take part in his side’s finals campaign following the setback.