North Melbourne can confirm midfielder Jenna Bruton suffered a partial rupture of her right Achilles tendon in Sunday's AFLW Grand Final loss.
The injury occurred after an innocuous incident early in the opening quarter when Bruton jumped to smother the ball. She immediately left the field and did not return.
The 28-year-old consulted with a specialist earlier this week and will undergo surgery to repair the injury next week.
Bruton's expected rehabilitation timeline is six months.
"Jenna has put in so much work after an injury held her back earlier in the season. To have her go down early in the Grand Final was really difficult, not only for Jenna but every North Melbourne person," North Melbourne’s head of women's football Nathan Hrovat said.
"She is a very important player for our team, and one that was hard to replace on Sunday.
"We know she will tackle her rehab with a gritty determination and be back in 2024 better than ever."