Daniel Wells was the most notable absentee as barely half of North Melbourne’s AFL team trained on Tuesday.
North’s rash of injuries compounds their form slump, in which they have lost five of their past six matches to plummet from top to eighth.
While key forward Jarrad Waite took part in the light session, Wells was not sighted.
Waite is coming back from a hip injury and Wells has not played since hurting his calf in the fiery round-13 loss to Hawthorn.
Kangaroos key forward Ben Brown is confident Wells will play in Saturday’s crucial match against Port Adelaide at Etihad Stadium.
“He’s not out there today, but it’s just our recovery run,” Brown said.
“A few guys are in doing bikes and sitting on the grinder.
“We have two days until our main skills (session) and I expect he’ll be out there.”
Brown also said North’s spate of injuries was not the reason they were struggling after starting the season with nine-straight wins.
Mason Wood (knee) and Farren Ray (hamstring) were also injured in Sunday’s loss to West Coast, while Majak Daw was hobbling on a crutch at Tuesday training after rolling his ankle in the VFL.
But Brown said North had the depth to cover for their injuries, saying Corey Wagner and debutant Ryan Clarke had come into the senior team successfully.
“It’s more than the players we’ve had injured – we have a few things to work on structurally,” he said.
“We all want to win, but I think it’s small things – it’s tweaks.
“We know we can play good footy and we did that at the start of the year.
“So we just have to look at what we can improve.”
Brown also scoffed at a media suggestion that North should drop fellow key forward Drew Petrie, saying the veteran was worth much more to the team than just kicking goals.
“It’s really obvious to us, the regard that Drewy is held in within this group,” Brown said.
“It’s more than coming out and kicking goals.
“Drewy plays such an important role – he takes the best defender every week and he comes up and creates contests.
“I’m sure he’ll be looking to improve, like we all are, but he’s playing his role.”