North Melbourne will be without the services of emerging ruck Tristan Xerri for the foreseeable future, with the 23-year-old set to undergo surgery on his right shoulder.
Xerri has put together a career-best campaign so far in 2022, operating in tandem with veteran Todd Goldstein across his 12 senior appearances.
A boyhood North fan, he put pen to paper on a fresh three-year contract extension in early June, citing his love for the club and belief in the list’s growth as key reasons for his commitment.
North Melbourne Head of Performance Kevin White says Xerri has been managing the issue for a while.
“‘X’ has been dealing with some AC soreness that he copped from a knock probably four or five weeks ago. We’ve been managing it conservatively through non-contact training during the week,” White said.
“While he’s been performing strength work in the gym, it’s got to the point now where it’s really limiting his ability to perform, especially in aerial contests.
“He saw a specialist earlier in the week and we’ve decided the surgical route will be the most effective in dealing with the problem.”
A member of the Kangaroos’ list since the 2018 season, Xerri’s growth as a player has been aided by consistent exposure to senior football across the last two seasons.
North Melbourne Head of Football Performance Dan McPherson says surgery is the smartest move to ensure the fifth-year player can continue his development.
“It’s obviously disappointing that Tristan will be unavailable for the next few weeks, but we decided surgery is the best way forward,” McPherson said.
“It’s been an issue we’ve managed for a number of weeks now, but it’s got to the point where it’s negatively impacting both his performance and wellbeing. While the decision to progress down the surgery route isn’t always ideal, it was quite a simple call to make in this case.
“We’re not going to put a timeframe on his return just yet, however with his operation booked in for early next week, the reality is it’s unlikely he’ll have time to get back this season with only six games remaining post-surgery.”