MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 29: Charlie Comben of the Kangaroos lays injured during the 2023 AFL Round 07 match between the Melbourne Demons and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 29, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

North Melbourne tall Charlie Comben has finally returned to full contract training after badly breaking his leg in Round 7 last season.

The Roos, who will spend this week up on the Gold Coast as part of their pre-season camp, will be buoyed by the emerging ruck-forward's eventual return.

Comben was expected to return 10 weeks after his injury however had issues with the tendon in his ankle which prevented a predicted comeback.

He hopes he will be back to the full training load by Christmas or soon after the Christmas break.

"I have had a lot of injuries over my career, but this one was probably the most frustrating. I thought I was going to be back in about 10 weeks," said Comben, via North Melbourne Media. 

"Been a long road back, about six months off. So it's good to join in with the lads and get me first for one out today. It's pretty warm, so I struggled a bit, but sure I'll start to come back."

The 22-year-old was drafted in 2019 as a second-round selection. He debuted in 2021 and has only played nine games since then for a return of five goals. He had played all six games up until his injury in Round 7 of the 2023 season.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: Charlie Comben of the Kangaroos kicks the ball during the 2023 AFL Round 05 match between the Brisbane Lions and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Adelaide Hills on April 15, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Comben's position in the team will look a little different this year with a structure shift which will see him move down to the backline next year after Roos key back Ben McKay moved to Essendon for the 2024 season.

"I'm going for a move down back this year, which will be a different role. We have lost a key back during the trade period, so I'll look to fill that role," said Comben.

"Hopefully provide a bit of mark and intercept for us down back. (Its') really exciting about the new role."

Comben added he hopes to have a strong pre-season and be injury-free during the 2024 season.