Shaun Higgins will miss the next five to six weeks following surgery to repair his AC joint.

The All-Australian midfielder injured his right shoulder after landing awkwardly in a tackle against the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“The way he fell was unfortunate because he landed on the arm of his opponent, which exacerbated the injury somewhat,” North GM Football Cameron Joyce said.

“He‘ll have surgery this afternoon and will be targeting a Round 17 or 18 comeback at this stage.”

The 31-year-old has been in fine form so far this season, averaging a career-high 29 disposals.

“Higgins’ absence will hurt us, but it also provides an opportunity for one of our younger mids to step up,” Joyce added.

“We have the likes of Paul Ahern playing great football in the VFL, as well as Bailey Scott, Kyron Hayden, Taylor Garner and Curtis Taylor.”

Injury list

Jamie Macmillan - Calf - Test
Dom Tyson - Calf - 1 week
Sam Wright - Ankle - 1-2 weeks
Tom Wilkinson - Ankle - 3-4 weeks
Shaun Higgins - AC joint - 5-6 weeks
Tom McKenzie - Back - TBC
Aaron Hall - Knee - TBC
Majak Daw - Pelvis/hips - Indefinite
Ben Jacobs - Head/neck - Indefinite
Will Walker - Knee - Indefinite
Ed Vickers-Willis - Knee - Season