MAJAK Daw is facing a delayed start to the 2017 season after suffering a knee injury that is likely to sideline him for about eight weeks.

Daw tore the meniscus in his right knee during a straight-line running drill at training on Monday and underwent arthroscopic surgery on Friday afternoon.

North Melbourne football manager Cameron Joyce said the club would not know how long Daw would be sidelined until it had spoken to his surgeon but expected him to play early in the home and away season.

"There was no warning of any issues prior to Monday so this was an unexpected and unfortunate setback," Joyce said.

"We discovered a tear in his meniscus so he was immediately referred to a specialist.

"It's too difficult to put a timeframe on his return to full fitness at this stage, but we are confident he'll be available in the opening rounds of the season.

"We'll know the extent of damage and amount of recovery time required after the surgery has been performed. At that point we will provide a further update to our members."

Meniscus tears typically involve a two-month recovery period. 

Daw's injury is a setback to his bid to finally establish himself in North's senior team. 

The 25-year-old has played just 25 games in seven seasons at Arden St, but had looked well placed to enjoy an extended run at senior level in 2017. 

North ushered in a new era late last season when it bid farewell to veterans Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Michael Firrito, Nick Dal Santo and Daniel Wells, with Petrie's departure designed to create opportunities for Daw and fellow emerging forwards such as Mason Wood and Ben McKay. 

Daw looked ready to help fill the void left by Petrie, having enjoyed a strong finish to 2016 that included a four-goal haul in North's elimination final loss to Adelaide. 

Daw entered this pre-season focused on improving his endurance and his forward-line understanding with fellow talls Ben Brown and Mason Wood, but now faces a limited preparation that will hamper those efforts.

The forward/ruckman said in November he was determined to become a regular senior player in 2017.

"On a personal level, it's just (about) playing as many games as I can and, like that last final in Adelaide, I want to have an impact on the team," Daw said.

"I'm 25, turning 26 (in March), so I've been around the club for a long time and I know the expectation." 

Daw re-signed with North until the end of 2019 in September.