DUMPED Kangaroos forward Lindsay Thomas hopes to be back at AFL level by next week as he prepares to play his first VFL match in almost two years on Saturday.
Thomas, 29, played his 200th game in the inaugural Good Friday clash with reigning premiers the Western Bulldogs, but has failed to kick a goal in four of his five games this year.
Coach Brad Scott lost patience with him and former captain Andrew Swallow, a triple club champion, after North Melbourne lost by five points or fewer for the third time this season last week.
"I have (been told why I was dropped) and obviously I'm disappointed that I don't get to play on Saturday with the boys," Thomas said on the Marngrook Footy Show on Thursday night.
"I know what I have to do to get back in the seniors and along with Andrew, we'll go back to Werribee on Saturday and play for Werribee and represent North Melbourne still.
"There's no point me being a senior player and moping around.
"We have such a young group (and) those young players do feed off senior players like myself and Andrew … hopefully it's just a one-week stint."
Thomas, who has kicked at least 34 goals in each of the past five seasons, went back to the VFL in mid-2015 to regain his confidence after suffering a severe case of goalkicking yips.
Shaun Higgins and Jed Anderson replaced Thomas and Swallow in winless North's side for the round six match against the Gold Coast at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.
"Both are outstanding professionals and they will respond in the way we've come to expect of them," Scott told NMFC.com.au.
"Lindsay, in particular, has been in this position before and he knows what he has to do.
"In Andrew’s case, it’s just about regaining some confidence and overcoming some minor injury niggles."
Thomas was able to put his disappointment aside to rave about 19-year-old Jy Simpkin, a fellow indigenous player and the Roos' first-round selection last year.
"We've got a real ripper here," he said of Simpkin.
"He broke his leg at the start of last year and experts were saying if he didn't break his leg he probably would have been a top-three draft pick, so that's how good he is."