THE foot injury that sent Nathan Grima forward to kick his now famous maiden major in AFL football will be rectified by surgery, North Melbourne confirmed yesterday.
The club said on its website that medical staff had initially delayed foot surgery after it had showed signs of improvement, but the club now believed an operation is the best option.
"Things improved for Nathan after some rest and management," North Melbourne high performance manager and director of sports science and medical services Dr Steve Saunders said.
"Given the degree of that improvement and the possibility he might have become available for finals, the medical team elected to postpone his surgery for a week.
"He has now been referred for surgery.
"By late last week, although he continued to show good signs of improvement, unfortunately Nathan hadn't improved enough to satisfy club doctor Andy McMahon and he wasn't passed fit to play against Collingwood."
The surgery is not expected to hamper the 28-year-old's preseason.
Grima, originally of Evandale, played 17 games in 2013, averaging 16 disposals a match.
Meanwhile, Melbourne's Tasmanian defender Colin Garland came within five votes of his first best and fairest on Thursday night.
Garland finished runner- up in the Keith `Bluey' Truscott Memorial Trophy to Nathan Jones.
The Wynyard defender, 25, picked up the Sid Anderson Memorial Trophy for his second place finish and also walked away with the Ron Barassi Jnr trophy for leadership.
Dodges Ferry high-flier Jeremy Howe finished ninth in the count.