Brayden George in action during North Melbourne's clash with Box Hill Hawks in VFL round four, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

NORTH Melbourne youngster Brayden George is facing another long stint on the sidelines after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in the VFL on Sunday.

The 20-year-old suffered the injury against Collingwood’s reserves at the AIA Centre, with subsequent scans later in the day confirming the club’s initial fears.

George missed all of his first season at Arden Street after undergoing a knee reconstruction in his draft year, before the Kangaroos selected him at pick No. 26 in the 2022 AFL Draft. 

The Murray Bushrangers product then missed most of the pre-season after dislocating his elbow in a freak training incident during the off-season back home in Wangaratta.

But after playing six VFL games to start the season ahead of the weekend, around a shoulder dislocation in April, George was building towards a debut before the latest injury setback.

George will now undergo a second reconstruction on the same knee he injured in 2022 in a cruel blow for the Victorian, who was considered a top-10 talent before the injury in his draft year

Brayden George at North Melbourne training in 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

North Melbourne co-captain Jy Simpkin missed Sunday’s one-point loss to Collingwood after injuring his hamstring at training on Friday. 

The 26-year-old has a low-grade strain and is unlikely to be available against Melbourne on Saturday night. 

Former pick No. 3 Will Phillips replaced Simpkin in the 23 on Sunday and tagged Nick Daicos before being subbed out of the game at the final change.