JED ANDERSON is set to make his return to competitive football this week, with the experienced North Melbourne midfielder likely to play limited minutes in the side's VFL clash on Friday.
Anderson has undergone a stringent two-month conditioning block since returning to Arden Street in February, having previously spent the majority of the summer training away from the club having not complied with AFL's COVID-19 vaccination policy.
But the 28-year-old will begin his bid to return to the senior side on Friday afternoon, with the club planning for the hard-nosed midfielder to play modified minutes in its reserves clash against Footscray at Arden Street.
Anderson had initially not returned from Darwin and was hesitant to receive his second COVID-19 vaccination shot before the League's November 26 cut-off date, but returned to Victoria and to club duties in late February.
He could be joined in the Kangaroos' VFL side on Friday by young midfielder Will Phillips, with the club's former No.3 pick training fully this week after it was revealed he was battling a bout of glandular fever last month.
Phillips is expected to also make his first competitive appearance of the year through the reserves, with fellow first-round selection Tom Powell also a chance to return from a calf injury.
Experienced wingman Jared Polec has seen a specialist about a foot issue that kept him from last Saturday's narrow defeat to Sydney, while forward Cam Zurhaar is in the AFL's 12-day concussion protocols and will miss the Good Friday clash against the Bulldogs.
But exciting youngster Eddie Ford should be available, having been forced to miss Saturday's trip to the SCG after he entered the League's health and safety protocols last week.