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Star Roo still battling concussion symptoms

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Ben Jacobs is set to miss his eighth game of the season - AFL,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Ben Jacobs,Brad Scott
Ben Jacobs is set to miss his eighth game of the season

NORTH Melbourne has no concerns about Ben Jacobs' long-term health despite lingering concussion symptoms that will again sideline him this round, with the club still optimistic the run-with midfielder will play again this season.

Jacobs has been battling concussion symptoms since North's round 12 loss to Geelong, having played just once since then. 

Three weeks ago, the Kangaroos decided to restrict him from training until his concussion symptoms had completely subsided, but he resumed light duties soon after.

North coach Brad Scott told reporters on Thursday Jacobs had done enough running and strength work to suggest he could come straight back into the Roos' senior team when he was finally symptom free.

However, Scott said Jacobs was still experiencing some lightheadedness and dizziness and would not resume match practice with North's main training group while that continued.

"We've had assurances that he's fine in terms of the medium to long-term. I've said consistently said that he's very close to playing, so that would suggest that we're not concerned about his long-term future," Scott said.  

"If we were concerned about that we'd just put him on ice and say he's not going to play again in 2018.

"But while this week might be a stretch depending on what he does today we're still optimistic about the next week. That again just speaks to how close he is to playing." 

Scott will celebrate his 200th game as North coach on Sunday when his team will take on last year's runner-up Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.

Messages of congratulations from some of his past charges have made Scott reflect on "what a great opportunity it has been to coach this club for so long".

But the Roos coach was keen to turn the focus back to Sunday's game, one his team needs to win to keep its finals hopes alive. 

One game outside the top eight after their fadeout loss to the Western Bulldogs last Sunday, the Kangaroos will have to overcome an 0-5 record at Adelaide Oval to keep their season alive.

That promises to be a tough assignment, but Scott is taking solace from the fact North's destiny remains largely in its own hands.

"It's just that stage of the season now where we need to get the job done," he said.

"We've been really consistent in the fact that we're not looking at external results and other results and things that need to go our way. It's just about what's in our control.

"Last week was in our control and it was a disappointing result for us. But we move on really quickly because we have to and we get the opportunity again this week to – to a large extent, I think – control our own destiny.

"From our perspective, it's just win two games and that's all we can control."