Thomas straight back in for North

North Melbourne will rush Lindsay Thomas back into their side to face Essendon and elevate Farren Ray from the rookie list following the long-term injury to Shaun Higgins.

Thomas returns from suspension for their clash at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, with coach Brad Scott saying it softens the blow of losing Higgins to a knee injury for three months.

Scott says the fact that his side has won seven straight eases the pressure on selection, with Daniel Wells and Michael Firrito also set to be left out.

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