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Veteran Waite ready to go for Roos in AFL

Jarrad Waite has kicked 22 goals in his nice AFL games for North Melbourne this season.North Melbourne’s tilt at a surprise finals berth is set for a huge boost with the Roos poised to unleash star veteran Jarrad Waite.
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The 35-year-old was a late withdrawal with a calf injury in round 11 and has been painstakingly nursed back to full health.

Waite was ready to play last week and Brad Scott admits the only decision to be made now is when to deploy the attacking weapon for maximum effect.

“He’s probably been ready for a little while … (but) we said right from the outset that we would be very conservative with his rehabilitation,” Scott told reporters before Wednesday’s main training session at Arden St.

“He’s trained well and we’ve just got to decide when we’re comfortable pulling the trigger.

“Clearly that’s got to come at some point. Whether it’s this week or next week, we’ll sit down and have that discussion post training.”

The Roos, widely dismissed as a finals contender before the season, are one game out of the eight in 10th, but don’t play a team headed for the finals in their remaining four matches.

Waite’s return is a big plus given his excellent early-season form when he kicked 22 goals from nine matches.

Fellow veteran Shaun Higgins suffered a setback when he underwent minor knee surgery on Tuesday.

But he completed a bike session at the club on Wednesday and should only miss Saturday’s clash with Brisbane at the Gabba.

Adding to the buoyant mood at the club, Scott reported master tagger Ben Jacobs appears to have finally shrugged off persistent concussion symptoms that have kept him to just one senior appearance since round 12.

“Whether or not he plays this week, it’s probably going to be tough for him … but we’ve got a pretty strong feeling that he’s turned the corner,” he said.

“He’s not too far away, unfortunately we can’t put an absolute time frame on it other than to say we expect him back this year.

“He’s actually feeling a lot better.”

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