A FIVE-DAY break between games for North Melbourne's VFL team could delay Trent Dumont's return even further, with the wingman still recovering from a troublesome calf injury.
However, the Kangaroos will be bolstered for Saturday night's trip to Optus Stadium to face the Dockers, with Luke Davies-Uniacke to return from his own calf problem and with Cam Zurhaar expected to make a full recovery from concussion.
First-year midfielder Charlie Lazzaro could also play, despite failing to finish last Sunday's defeat to the Cats due to hamstring soreness, but experienced defender Aidan Corr will remain sidelined following a toe injury.
But there is still no timeline for Dumont's return, with the important wingman yet to feature at any level this year after first injuring his calf on Christmas Day before suffering another setback on the eve of the season.
North Melbourne had been hopeful that Dumont would get some minutes under his belt during this Saturday's VFL clash with Frankston, but a short five-day turnaround ahead of its round three bout with Casey is expected to scupper those plans.
It means more frustration for Dumont, who is stuck on 99 career games, with his future at Arden Street still unclear as he nears the free agency market at the conclusion of the campaign.
"We've got a VFL game next Thursday and it's a battle between whether it's this week or next week with that five-day break," Kangaroos coach David Noble said on Thursday.
"We'll probably err on doing a bit more training and then starting him next week."
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Corr also remains a fortnight away from a return to action for the winless North Melbourne, with the club's free agency recruit still battling an unfortunate infection that stemmed from a round one toe injury.
"He's maybe a couple of weeks away," Noble said.
"We'll just wait and see. He's started a bit of running last week. We've tried to move that forward this week. I don't think his will be from the infection, but it may just be a bit of loading."