North's McKay injured, will miss start of AFL season
Key North Melbourne defender Ben McKay will miss the start of the AFL season because of a foot injury.
In a major blow to the Kangaroos and their new coach Alastair Clarkson, McKay is sidelined indefinitely by what the club describe as bone stress in his right foot.
"Ben's pre-season preparation has been seamless so this is unfortunate news on the eve of round one," North's general manager of football Todd Viney said on Wednesday.
"Our immediate focus is to ensure Ben's symptoms settle.
"His rehab program will continue to evolve with the aim to integrate him back into the training program in due course."
McKay reported soreness after the Roos' practice match against the Western Bulldogs last Saturday.
Scans revealed the injury which will result in the 25-year-old missing a chunk of the season.
North Melbourne meet West Coast on March 18 before fixtures against Fremantle, Hawthorn and Carlton - where McKay's brother Harry plays - as they seek to rebound from finishing last in the past two years and second-last in 2020.