NORTH Melbourne is confident Shaun Higgins will be fit for the start of the season despite requiring minor surgery on his knee.
Higgins, 27, hurt his left knee late in the Kangaroos' NAB Challenge win over St Kilda in Wangaratta on Saturday.
He was on the Roos' best in the 44-point win, booting two goals from 17 possessions.
Roos football chief Geoff Walsh said the clean-up is straightforward and will set him up for the season proper.
"There were a couple of old bone fragments, which had been there for a number of years, that suddenly caused him some discomfort in the second half," Walsh said.
"This will ensure he doesn't have any further issues with those fragments."
Walsh said Higgins could return for the club's final NAB Challenge match, but round one is the main aim.
"The window we have now is perfect, in that we'd planned to give Shaun the next NAB Challenge game off anyway, and his surgeon is optimistic that he could return for our final practice match," Walsh said.
"However, we may choose to hold him back from that, depending on his requirements from a strength and conditioning point of view. Regardless of which path we take, he will be ready for round one, which is obviously the main aim."
Meanwhile, Kayne Turner has been cleared of any serious damage, but will miss two weeks after experiencing tightness in his hamstring against the Saints.