Luke McDonald’s unlucky run with injury continues with the 26-year-old set to face an extended period of time on the sidelines.
McDonald will undergo surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn pectoral muscle - an injury he sustained during a tackle late in the first quarter on Sunday against Adelaide.
The club’s co-vice-captain was playing in his first game of the season after rehabilitating a quad injury.
“It’s a really unlucky type of injury, and it’s really disappointing for us given we missed Luke at the start of the year,” North Melbourne GM Football Brady Rawlings told North Media.
“We’ve gone to the specialists and the recommendation is for surgery so Luke will undergo surgery tomorrow to repair the torn pec.
“To get full function and to get back to full strength the best way to go about it is to have surgery.
“At this stage we think a recovery period in rehab probably around 10-12 weeks so [we] expect to see Luke well after the bye.”
Lauded for his tagging and defensive efforts last season, which ultimately earned him his first Syd Barker medal, Rawlings said while it was a huge loss for the team it would provide more opportunities for others.
“Luke is an integral part of our team … he’s vice-captain for a reason, he won our best-and-fairest last year for a reason … he’s such an important player for us,” Rawlings said.
“I think early in the season without him out there it’s been hard to cover at times, but there’s been some really good opportunities for other players to play those roles.
“Lachie Young’s played every game now and we thought he was really good especially in the second half on the weekend.
“Aiden Bonar played some games last year for us in defence but this year looks like he’s a lot more at home down there and his intensity to defend and play on talls and smalls is something we’ve learnt about Aiden this year.
“We’ve seen Atu for the last three weeks put some really good VFL form together as well so we’re learning a lot about our defenders this year and some others players in our team as well.”