NORTH Melbourne has suffered a significant injury blow, with star midfielder Tarryn Thomas likely to be sidelined for up to two months after sustaining internal bruising following a nasty incident over the weekend.
Thomas has spent the last two nights in hospital and was only released on Tuesday, after copping an accidental kick to the rib region while attempting to smother West Coast's Luke Foley on Sunday.
He was withdrawn from the contest at half-time and taken immediately to hospital, with scan results and specialist meetings determining that the talented 22-year-old will miss between four to eight weeks with internal bruising.
>>WATCH THE INCIDENT IN THE PLAYER BELOW
"He's got some internal bruising, but fortunately his ribs are fine and there's no fracture. The ongoing advice and assessment from specialists will be the guiding factor as Tarryn recovers," Kangaroos football boss Dan McPherson said.
"Tarryn's health is our priority. With that in mind, we will take a conservative approach to his recovery and continue to monitor him closely."
Fellow important midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke will also miss this weekend's clash with Brisbane after entering the AFL's 12-day concussion protocols having suffered a head knock following a tackle from West Coast forward Willie Rioli.
However, the club expects defender Ben McKay to be available to face the Lions after recovering from his own concussion issues, with experienced onballer Jed Anderson also edging closer to a return to the game.
MEDICAL ROOM The full AFL injury list, R3
Anderson, who spent the majority of the summer training away from the club due to the AFL's vaccine policy, has been in a modified conditioning program in recent weeks but has been tipped to make a VFL return in the near future.
Young defender Matt McGuinness will make his first appearance of the year through the VFL this weekend following a foot injury, while former first-round pick Will Phillips is increasing his training loads after a bout of glandular fever.