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Roos lose skipper, McKay in for AFL debut

North Melbourne will almost certainly be without skipper Jack Ziebell when they take on Brisbane in Saturday’s AFL wooden spoon decider at the Gabba.

Ziebell has been struggling with a foot injury that will require surgery at the end of the season and pulled up sore after last weekend’s loss to St Kilda.

“I’m reluctant to say that he definitely won’t play because he’s still, as he does, campaigning to play, but the medical advice is ‘no’,” coach Brad Scott told reporters on Thursday.

“He’s unable to train and he’s sore but he wants up until the last minute to prove his fitness. But a six-day turnaround makes it even more difficult.”

Scott revealed key position prospect Ben McKay will become the club’s 11th debutant of the season.

The 17th-placed Roos will finish last on the ladder for the first time since 1972 if they lose to bottom-placed Brisbane.

Scott, once again, dismissed suggestions of tanking to secure the prized No.1 pick at the national draft.

“We want to build our team around competitiveness and what we stand for as a footy club, so winning is very important to us this week,” he said.

“In terms of the draft position, depending on who wins and who loses, it’s anywhere from (pick) one to four (for us).

“And the difference between one and four is negligible in my view … you’re going to get a very good player.”

Scott confirmed Braydon Preuss’ season is over, with the ruckman to undergo shoulder surgery this week.

Todd Goldstein is carrying eye, knee and elbow injuries, but Scott is confident he will be fit to shoulder the ruck load.

Defender Scott Thompson will play his 200th AFL game but, like Jarrad Waite, doesn’t have a contract for next season.

Scott believes both still have plenty to offer but the pair must wait until the club has a clearer picture of its requirements following the trade and free agency periods.

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