SIXTEEN witnesses will be called to give evidence in the rape case against North Melbourne’s Majak Daw.

Daw, 23, is facing three counts of rape over an alleged incident involving a girl when he was aged 16 in 2007.

Daw appeared on crutches for the brief Melbourne Magistrates Court hearing on Friday, where he was supported by a group of friends and family.

Magistrate Donna Bakos granted permission for all 16 witnesses to be cross-examined during Daw's committal hearing on December 15.

The charges relate to an alleged incident at Altona Meadows, in Melbourne's west, in March 2007.

Daw was the first Sudan-born player to reach the AFL and has played 14 games since joining North Melbourne as a rookie in 2009.

The club says it will support him and that he will remain available to play for the Kangaroos' AFL and VFL sides.

The AFL has backed the club's decision but has restricted Daw, who is one of the League's multicultural ambassadors, from making promotional appearances.

Daw's December committal hearing is expected to run for three days.