BEN Cunnington’s 2020 season is over.

With just six matches remaining, North Melbourne medicos on Thursday abandoned plans to have the two-time best-and-fairest winner return from a painful nerve problem in his back, which had resulted in a lack of strength in his quadriceps.

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It was determined that even if the problem was to be rectified – and that was still some way off – that Cunnington would require a four-week block of training before being passed fit to play.

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Cunnington and his family (wife and two young children) has been with the North Melbourne squad based in Maroochydore, but will now likely return to Victoria.

The 2014 and 2019 Roos club champion managed just three matches this season, the last of those in round five when, despite being barely able to walk in the warm-up, he was declared fit to play, only to be sidelined early in the game with his condition making it impossible to compete.

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Cunnington’s absence has seriously hurt North Melbourne’s impact this season. The Roos are sitting 16th on the ladder and have lost eight of their past nine matches.