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Hip surgery to delay star Roo's return to pre-season

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STAR North Melbourne forward Ben Brown has revealed he won't train fully until after Christmas due to a lengthy recovery from post-season hip surgery.

But Brown declared himself a certainty to be ready for the club's 2019 season-opener against Fremantle despite the setback.

The 25-year-old landed awkwardly in a marking contest in round 17 against Sydney at Marvel Stadium and twisted his hip.

He played out the season without missing a game to finish second in the Coleman Medal, behind Richmond's Jack Riewoldt, with 61 goals.

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The key forward had an arthroscopic procedure in September, which North football boss Cameron Joyce told the club's website would "allow him time to recover and have a full pre-season".

But Brown told reporters on Monday that, while the procedure went well and was progressing positively, he was unlikely to take part in full training until January.

"I'll be limited in the first stages of pre-season but I've done that most pre-seasons so far, so I'm not too concerned about where that's going to leave me," Brown said.

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"I'll start running over the next six weeks or so.

"I'll probably be limited up until Christmas but in January when we come back I should be fit and firing and well and truly right by round one.

"It was something that in the initial stages I could get through the season with ... but it was something that in the long-term my body was going to suffer with if I didn't have the surgery done now.

"So we decided to make that move and I think it will be a positive one."

Brown addressed the media at Avalon Airport Oval in Werribee where the Roos will play St Kilda in their opening pre-season series game in March.

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"I played a lot of footy on this ground," Brown said.

"I really love that you do get to go out and play games at some of the more local and community footy grounds (in pre-season).

"It gives you that little bit more of an atmosphere like you used to play when you were a bit younger."

The Kangaroos' other pre-season game will be against Port Adelaide at its Alberton Oval headquarters in Adelaide.