during the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium on May 8, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.

North Melbourne have suffered an injury blow, with Shaun Higgins ruled out for the next 12 weeks.

Higgins will undergo surgery to repair a meniscus tear.

The 28-year-old suffered the injury in last weekend’s win over St Kilda.

Higgins’ knee appeared to hyper extend when he kicked a goal through a tight pack in the third quarter. He later returned to the field with his knee strapped.

“Shaun will have a procedure today after advice from specialists earlier in the week,” Director of Football Geoff Walsh told the club’s website.

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“It’s extremely unfortunate, but our focus is to ensure Shaun will have a thorough rehabilitation, which will allow him to return to the side late in the season.

“He’s a tremendous character and an utter professional, so we know he will bounce back strongly from this setback.”