NORTH Melbourne has confirmed that defender Ed Vickers-Willis suffered a ruptured ACL during his side's disappointing loss to Fremantle on Sunday.

Vickers-Willis came from the field in the first quarter after landing awkwardly on his knee in a marking contest, with scans on Monday confirming the worst for the youngster.

It continues a shocking run for Vickers-Willis since he made his debut against the Dockers in round five, 2017.

Six weeks after his first game he suffered a season-ending PCL injury, and his 2018 campaign was also wrecked by a PCL setback in his right knee after slamming into a post against Sydney in round seven at the SCG.

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"We're extremely disappointed for Ed who has worked extremely hard since his PCL injury to get back to playing footy," North Melbourne's footy boss Cameron Joyce said.

"He made the seamless transition back into the side throughout the JLT Series and looked to be well positioned for a great season.

"He is a diligent worker and a true professional which will hold him in good stead on his road to recovery.

"For now, our primary focus is to provide him with all the support he needs.”

Vickers-Willis has played 15 games for North Melbourne, having been drafted with the 36th selection in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft.

His injury adds to a depleted backline, which was without veteran Scott Thompson, who returns from suspension in round two, and Majak Daw (hips).