Key Kangaroo Waite set to face Bulldogs

Jason Phelan
Jarrad Waite will resume his AFL season after a three-week spell with a calf complaint

North Melbourne hope to see the dividends of their conservative strategy when Jarrad Waite returns from a calf complaint against the Western Bulldogs.

The 35-year-old pulled out of the round-11 clash against the Brisbane Lions two minutes before the opening bounce after experiencing tightness in the warm-up.

Waite managed 14 games in 2016 and just 10 last year after suffering mid-season injuries.

With their bye looming, the Roos made the decision to leave the veteran out of the round-12 encounter with Geelong to allow him to launch into the back half of the season refreshed.

"I'm confident he'll play but that's just my judgment ... hopefully the medical staff clear him," teammate Majak Daw told reporters on Tuesday.

"We love having him in the side because there's not many players like him ... he's hard to match up on.

"He's such a link between defence and attack."

The Kangaroos take on the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night in the inaugural Harmony Game, which will celebrate social inclusion and multiculturalism.

The decimated Dogs have 16 players on their injury list after their costly round-13 loss to Port Adelaide.

Skipper Easton Wood's season is likely over after he suffered a significant hamstring injury against the Power, while Jack Macrae (hamstring) will miss at least three weeks.

Marcus Bontempelli (knee), Toby McLean (shoulder) and Tom Boyd (finger) will need to pass fitness tests as the Dogs - 14th with a 4-8 record - look to salvage some pride from a disappointing season.

"It's always upsetting to lose players to injury, but that's the game," Bulldogs swingman Jason Johannisen said.

"There are going to be some young guys who get opportunities so that's exciting.

"Personally, I've been in this position before and when your backs are against the wall the team can really gel together."