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Higgins still a chance for North's final NAB Challenge match

Staff writers with AAP  March 9, 2016 2:44 PM

AFL's big issue, Eddie-had, Crouch back Nat Edwards and Matt Thompson present your Wednesday Footy Feed
Midfielder Shaun Higgins at training on Wednesday. Picture: Getty Images

Midfielder Shaun Higgins at training on Wednesday. Picture: Getty Images

STAR North Melbourne utility Shaun Higgins remains a chance to play in Saturday's final NAB Challenge match following knee surgery.

Higgins ran by himself at Wednesday training with a bandage on his left knee.

He needed a cleanout after being among North's best last month in the Roos' opening NAB Challenge match against St Kilda.

The Kangaroos will wrap up their pre-season schedule on Saturday night against reigning premiers Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium.

While Higgins moved well in his running drills, he did not train with the main group.

"I think [he's a chance]. He's been running around and looks pretty good," teammate Michael Firrito said on Wednesday.

"It will be an interesting one, he’s already had one game under his belt and hadn’t missed a beat until surgery. He probably could play but whether we risk him or not, I’m not too sure what they’ll do."

Apart from Higgins, North has a healthy list ahead of Saturday night's match.

"It's a full dress rehearsal and we'll have our full side out on the park, or pretty much close to it," Firrito said. 

Firrito will go into this season full of confidence after one of the veteran's most consistent years in 2015.

Expectations are also high for North after making the past two preliminary finals.

Firrito, 32, has played 253 senior games and has impressed after speculation about his future over the past few years.

"The last few have been my last season, who knows what will lie ahead," he said.

"Maybe it's helped me a little bit, just appreciating every moment.

"I'm really fortunate to be in the position I am.

"I'm playing almost like every game is my last game."

Knowing his career cannot last forever, Firrito is determined for the Kangaroos to take the next step and win a flag.

"It's not going to roll around forever," he said.

"It's definitely not now or never for the list, but for myself, it almost is.

"I need the boys to be at their best and I need myself to be at my best.

"To achieve the ultimate would be a dream come true."