(Image: North Melbourne)
Marley Williams will miss the remainder of 2017 after succumbing to a back innjury.
The Kangaroos' small defender will require surgery on his back - and will also address a shoulder injury in the process.
“Over the past six weeks, we’ve tried numerous non-surgical treatments for Marley but without the desired results,” Cameron Joyce told the North website.
“The last resort was and always has been surgery, but unfortunately we’ve run out of time to get Marley back before the end of the year and will now focus on getting him right for the 2018 pre-season.
“This will mean a likely procedure on his back, but first we’ve opted to get his shoulder repaired which he’s been carrying since Round 7. On medical advice, these operations can’t be conducted simultaneously.”