Kangaroos coach pleased with Ziebell

20 May 2020 18:28:25 GMTPlus10

Captain Jack Ziebell's sharpness in training has impressed North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw.

Ziebell picked up a knee injury in the opening round against St Kilda, but he's had the chance to recover and will be in the frame for the Kangaroos' next game.

The 29-year-old suffered a high-grade medial ligament strain, but escaped the dreaded anterior cruciate ligament tear he instantly thought he might have done.

Shaw feels the tough midfielder is now in better shape than he was going into the start of the campaign.

"Ziebell is going really well; he's in a better position than he was going into round one after an interrupted pre-season," he said.

"He's had the chance to rehab his knee and he's been running for a good four or five weeks now, which is a bit longer than he had going into round one. He trained fully yesterday and the way he moved yesterday, I was really pleased."

Ziebell, who has spent his whole career with North, has been club captain since the end of 2016.

He has kicked 162 goals in his 210 games, and has made at least 20 appearances in five of the last six seasons.

The coach reckons the general fitness of his squad is good, as they focus on round two.

And veteran Shaun Higgins says the players are chomping at the bit to get back into action.

Higgins, who was named the Kangaroos' best and fairest in consecutive seasons in 2017 and 2018, said: "I can guarantee you inside the four walls of our footy club we've never been more focused on getting a result this year and excited about what can take place.

"The 15 years I've been involved in (playing), no season has presented challenges like this year ... and then you combine that with the fact that we're only just playing each other once, and in some ways it's more even than any year I've been a part of."

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