MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 16: Jack Ziebell of the Kangaroos looks dejected after losing the round 13 AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the St Kilda Saints at Etihad Stadium on June 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

North Melbourne have ruled out skipper Jack Ziebell for this weekend’s clash with the Western Bulldogs.

The veteran went down in the first quarter of last Sunday’s loss to Hawthorn with a hamstring injury and did not return.

Kangaroos coach Rhyce Shaw said that while they don’t consider the injury to be serious, they will take a cautious approach.

“Ziebell’s hamstring isn’t too bad. But we will take precautions with him, if things go wrong in a short season, it’s not worth the risk,” Shaw told reports on Thursday.

In other injury news, star midfielder Ben Cunnington (back) is likely to return from a two-game absence. Originally named for Sunday’s clash with Hawthorn, Cunnington was a late out.

Key defender Robbie Tarrant (ribs) is also expected to line up against the Bulldogs, while backman Majak Daw will look to find form through the seconds in his return from a torn pectoral.

“Maj played well on the weekend, but we will give him a chance to find some more form, so he’ll play in the scratch match this week,” Shaw said.

North Melbourne meet the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night at 7.40pm (AEST).