George Wardlaw looks dejected after North Melbourne's loss to Melbourne at the MCG, in round 15, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

RISING Star contender George Wardlaw will miss North Melbourne's next two matches after sustaining a concussion during training on Thursday.

The 20-year-old, who has rocketed into Rising Star favouritism following the suspensions and subsequent ineligibility of West Coast's Harley Reid and the Western Bulldogs' Sam Darcy, has entered concussion protocols.

He will miss Saturday's clash against the Bulldogs and the Roos' round 17 match against Gold Coast as a result.

The bullocking midfielder was originally assessed for a shoulder injury late during training, but later said he had felt a headknock during the same incident.

He was subsequently tested in line with the AFL's concussion guidelines, with the results indicating a concussion.


"Under the League's protocols, George will miss at least the next two matches," North Melbourne footy manager Todd Viney said. 

"He initially reported to our medical team some soreness around the shoulder and then said he felt a knock to his head in the same incident.

"Upon receiving that advice, our doctor ran him through the concussion testing and from there he was ruled out.

"It's obviously disappointing for George and the team but our first priority is always our players’ health."

At this stage, Wardlaw is expected to be available for selection ahead of round 18.

George Wardlaw during North Melbourne's game against Fremantle in R2, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

It's a blow for the Kangaroos, who have enjoyed an uptick in form following an 11-game winless streak to start the season.

The Roos broke through for their first win of the season in round 13, and have followed that performance up with narrow losses to Collingwood and Melbourne in recent weeks.

Second-year player Wardlaw had been enjoying a strong run of form, playing a career-best 30-disposal game against Collingwood in round 14 and putting on another strong showing against Melbourne last week.