NORTH Melbourne could be without running defender Aaron Hall for its round one clash against Hawthorn, after scans revealed the extent of a hamstring injury sustained during last Friday's intraclub match.
Hall limped from the field midway through the second quarter of the scratch match at Arden Street and is expected to miss around three to four weeks as he recovers from the injury blow.
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It's set to rule the veteran out of the club's practice match with Melbourne this Thursday, as well as its AAMI Community Series clash with Sydney the following Sunday, throwing his chances of returning for round one into doubt.
Hall, 31, is coming off a career-best season with North Melbourne where a move to half-back saw him average 27.9 disposals per game and earn a one-year contract extension that will take him through until the end of 2022.
Luke McDonald and Tristan Xerri both sustained concussions in the first quarter of the bruising intraclub and will subsequently miss Thursday's practice game against Melbourne, but will return for the club's second pre-season tune-up against Sydney.
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Ben Cunnington is not expected to return in the early stages of the season as he continues his recovery from a secondary recurrence of testicular cancer, while question marks remain over Jed Anderson's future at the club.
In a promising development, Anderson returned to Melbourne from Darwin over the weekend. However, he is still yet to inform North Melbourne officials as to whether he intends to receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Aiden Bonar (wrist), Phoenix Spicer (hamstring), Atu Bosenavulagi (hamstring), Jackson Archer (concussion), Flynn Perez (knee) and Matt McGuinness (foot) also missed last Friday evening's intraclub.