North Melbourne hope Jarrad Waite can finally put his injury problems behind him and return for Saturday night’s massive AFL clash.
Waite trained on Wednesday and coach Brad Scott is confident – but not certain – that the key forward will play at Etihad Stadium against St Kilda.
A hip injury means Waite has only played once since round 12.
North have been at their best with Waite, Drew Petrie and Ben Brown playing together as key forwards.
“He’s going well – he didn’t miss by much last week, but we took a very cautious approach because we need him at his best,” Scott said before Wednesday training.
“When he’s out there, we need to make sure he can do all the things that everyone knows he can do.
“I think he’s a really good chance, but I can’t categorically say whether he’ll play or not.”
Star midfielder Daniel Wells did not train on Wednesday, but is expected to play.
Despite wearing a guard on his left wrist at training, Petrie also does not appear in doubt.
Saturday night’s game is doubly-significant for the Kangaroos, with Brent Harvey’s 427th match to break the AFL all-time record.
North have won every time Harvey has had a games milestone.
A win should also ensure North’s finals berth.
After winning their first nine matches this season, the Kangaroos lost six of the next seven and dropped to eighth.
Last Friday’s win over Collingwood eased the pressure, but the ninth-placed Saints are still breathing down their necks.
The Saints have won five of their last six games and are two games plus percentage below North.