North Melbourne are sweating on the fitness of star ruckman Todd Goldstein ahead of Friday night’s clash against Richmond in Hobart.
Goldstein appeared limited at times during last week’s loss to Sydney after he suffered a knock to his right knee, which he was seen icing late in the game.
Coach Brad Scott will name the 27-year-old in his side on Thursday but admitted he is no certainty to take on the resurgent Tigers.
“I don’t know whether he’ll come up or not,” Scott said.
“You would think he would. When he cops a knock he generally recovers pretty strongly.
“We’ll pick him in our side and probably plan on him playing but we’ll have contingencies just in case.”
North still sit a game clear atop the AFL ladder despite the 26-point loss to the Swans.
The Roos’ 9-0 start was the best in the club’s history but Scott admitted he wouldn’t miss the hype that came with their stirring unbeaten run.
“When you’re undefeated there’s only one way you can go and if you keep winning it just keeps rolling on,” he said.
“Sometimes it does take a loss to narrow the focus just a little bit.
“We’ve had periods of games where we haven’t controlled it.
“(But) it hasn’t been overboard this week … there were still a lot of things in the Sydney game that went well.”
Taylor Garner (hamstring) and Lachie Hansen (concussion) will return from injury via the VFL this week, where the Roos have a healthy 18 players pushing for AFL selection.
Drew Petrie struggled against the Swans, recording his second goalless match in the past fortnight, but Scott said the key forward is in no danger of being dropped.
“He provides a really consistent baseline level of effort,” he said.