Talismanic North Melbourne midfielder Ben Cunnington will be available to play on the weekend if he gets through training on Thursday.
Having recovered from testicular cancer, Cunnington was set to return to play in July but suffered a calf strain in training, and last week tested positive for COVID-19.
Roos Head of Performance Kevin White says the No.10 was symptomatic in the days following his test, but has since recovered.
“Ben had a strong footy conditioning and strength session on Sunday, and will fall into the main group training this week,” White told North Media.
“He’ll be available to play if he clears training Thursday.”
Cunnington is one of six men’s players to have tested positive since North Melbourne’s trip to Tasmania to face Hawthorn in Round 19.
Small forward Paul Curtis was another, ruled out of last week’s match against Essendon after having played 13 consecutive matches since his debut.
“Paul was symptomatic in the first few days post testing positive,” White explained.
“He’s had graded exercise for the past couple of days. He returned to the club today, and will train with the main group on Thursday.
“He’ll also be available if he clears that session.”
Aaron Hall’s wretched run was prolonged by a positive test after the Hawthorn match, the No.43 having missed more than half the season due to soft tissue injuries.
This time it will only be a short stint on the sidelines for Hall, the 31-year-old having bounced back well.
“Like Ben, he had a strong footy conditioning and strength session on Sunday and will train with the main group this week,” White outlined.
jack mahony and Lachie Young were named for Sunday’s game against Essendon but withdrawn late having returned positive tests.
“They’re at home isolating, with the club doctor monitoring their symptoms through daily check-ins,” White detailed.
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“Whether or not they’re available will be based on multiple factors.
“This includes symptoms, ability to absorb exercise during the week, recent training history, and preparation leading into game day after clearing isolation.”
jackson archer will be touch-and-go for Sunday’s game against Sydney, having picked up a hip complaint in the defeat to the Dons.
“Jackson jagged his hip in a tackling contest in the third quarter, similar to the incident at training a few weeks ago,” White went on.
“The plan will be for him to run today (Tuesday) and test it out at main training on Thursday.”