Launceston star Daria Bannister is is line for a late start to her AFLW pre-season after having surgery on her left knee.
A key member of Launceston's 2020 premiership campaign, the 21-year-old injured her meniscus in the grand final win over Glenorchy, spending the second half of the game on the sidelines.
The Kangaroo of four games is expected to return to AFLW training in late January.
"It's an unfortunate setback for Daria but her commitment to rehab is second to none and we are confident she will do everything possible to get back training as soon as possible," North Melbourne AFLW football operations manager Nathan Hrovat said.
"Daria is an important player and person in our program and we know she will bounce back from this injury."
The TSLW's best and fairest winner in 2019, Bannister collected awards for leading goalkicker and best and fairest at Launceston's awards night earlier this month.