NORTH Melbourne's prized young midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke is without a return date and won't run "for a period of weeks" as he deals with an ongoing groin problem.
Kangaroos football boss Brady Rawlings stopped short of describing Davies-Uniacke's injury as osteitis pubis, saying instead that he was "battling a pubic overload issue".
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North forward Kayne Turner will also be out until after the club's round 14 bye in June despite electing to forego surgery to fix a medial sesamoid fracture under his left big toe.
There was better news for Davies-Uniacke's housemate Aiden Bonar, with scans on the former Giant's tight hamstring coming back clear.
AFL.com.au understands Davies-Uniacke originally hoped to take part in last Friday's practice game against Melbourne but North's medical team has opted to back him right off.
"It's extremely disappointing, because fitness-wise he was setting himself up for a big year," Rawlings said.
"We all know what 'LDU' is capable of, so we'll put him in a rehabilitation program to build him back up to full strength when the time is right."
Davies-Uniacke, 20, won't run for several weeks and regular tests and assessments will help determine when he can return to training.
"We've decided to take an aggressive off-load approach with Luke, given his age," Rawlings said.
"When he's clinically 'all-clear', we will re-load him conservatively and start him on a running program."
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Meanwhile, Rawlings said a conservative approach was the best method in pressure forward Turner's recovery.
"We feel that a conservative rehabilitation approach is the best course of action for now to let the bone heal," he said.
"He's a big loss but we'll be looking to our other small forwards to step up in his absence.
"It means there'll be more opportunities for the likes of Jack Mahony, Taylor Garner, Lachie Hosie, Cam Zurhaar and Tarryn Thomas."