Jy Simpkin looks on during Captains Day at Marvel Stadium on February 26, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

NORTH Melbourne co-captain Jy Simpkin will be forced to wear a protective glove throughout the first two months of the season after tearing a tendon in his finger last week, but the midfielder has already been cleared to play round one.

Simpkin came from the field for an extended period during his side's match simulation victory over Collingwood last Wednesday, having jarred his finger in a contest, but returned to the action and played out the game.

Scans have since revealed a tear to a tendon in a finger on his left hand in a frustrating blow for Simpkin, but the injury won't hamper the 25-year-old's chances of featuring in the team's round one clash with Greater Western Sydney on March 16.

Simpkin wore a glove on his right hand for large periods of last season after breaking his hand in the side's Gather Round clash against Brisbane last April, and will now be forced to start the upcoming campaign wearing a glove on the opposite hand.

Although the setback won't see the two-time Kangaroos best-and-fairest winner miss any football, Simpkin said it was an annoying injury to cop on the eve of the campaign.

"Unfortunately, I tore a tendon in my finger against the Pies early in the game," Simpkin told AFL.com.au.

Jy Simpkin runs with the ball during North Melbourne's match simulation against Collingwood on February 21, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

"It'll be a glove for eight weeks, unfortunately. I wore a glove last year when I broke my hand and I hated it, so I'm just going to have to put up with that for the first few games of the season. But no worries for round one."

Simpkin, who was due to become a free agent this year before penning a five-year extension through to 2029 last May, will have a new partner in the midfield this season thanks to the emergence of breakout star George Wardlaw.

The former No.4 draft pick, who played just eight games in an injury-plagued maiden campaign at Arden Street, has starred throughout the summer and was among last week's best performers after featuring for a half against the Magpies.

"He's a funny character, George," Simpkin said.

George Wardlaw in action during North Melbourne's match simulation against Collingwood on February 21, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

"It feels like he's been plucked out of the 1970s or the 1980s. He's just tough and in and under. He's as tough as they come, he puts his head over it and hopefully with an injury-free run at it, he's going to be a bloody star of the competition."

North Melbourne has endured a barren patch recently, winning just 12 games in its last four seasons, but Simpkin said a developing Kangaroos group was hoping to define success its own way in 2024.

"It's hard to put a certain number of wins on what a successful season will look like, but we'll just continue to develop," Simpkin said.

"We've seen the way we played last Wednesday against the Pies and we'll see it again this weekend against the Saints in our practice game.

"We've just got to continue to improve the way we move the footy and our defence. But I've got no doubt we'll win a lot more games than we did last season."