Roos make injury call on young gun

AFL Rd 14 -  North Melbourne v Collingwood
North Melbourne young gun George Wardlaw will return after missing the last two weeks due to a concussion suffered at training. Picture: Daniel Pockett / Getty Images

Rising Star favourite George Wardlaw will return against Sydney on Saturday as North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson braces for Isaac Heeney to win his appeal and play.

Clarkson said the Kangaroos would plan for the Swans superstar despite losing his tribunal hearing over his one-match ban earlier this week.

Wardlaw is ready to return after missing consecutive matches due to a concussion he suffered at training, while the Roos are also set to recall key defender Griffin Logue for his first senior match since his ACL injury last year.

Rebounding defender Zac Fisher (foot) and tall utility Wil Dawson (shoulder) were also available for the SCG clash, Clarkson said.

“(Wardlaw) has had a couple of games out … it was really unfortunate (the concussion) was on a Thursday and the 12-day protocol covered two games,” Clarkson said.

“That’s just stiff, but he’s good to go, so it will be good to have him back in the side.

AFL Rd 14 - North Melbourne v Collingwood
North Melbourne young gun George Wardlaw will return from concussion against Sydney on Saturday. Picture: Michael Willson / Getty Images

“We’re hoping it’s a blessing in disguise really … when players are available to play, they just keep playing Sometimes a break can be the best thing for them. Hopefully, (Wardlaw) has got seven games to go and can really see the season out strongly.”

Clarkson joked the Swans’ two consecutive losses had likely made them less “gettable” rather than vulnerable to another upset defeat but said the clash would be an important lesson for his young side.

He did not weigh in on the incident Heeney received a ban for against St Kilda but thought he was a strong chance to win his appeal on Thursday evening.

“We’ve just got to plan for their best side in my view despite the fact that the tribunal at this point in time has said that he’s out,” Clarkson said.

“He’s a high-quality player and has been really, really important to the way they’ve gone about it.

“He’s had his best season ever, so we’ll plan with him in the side, and if we get the call that he’s not, they get a pretty handy replacement coming into the side … (Callum) Mills is going to be playing, and if Isaac isn’t playing then probably (Luke) Parker’s coming in.”