North Melbourne have revealed ruckman Tristan Xerri will undergo surgery for a right ankle syndesmosis injury sustained over the weekend, with the Roos big man likely facing an extended spell on the sidelines.

Xerri suffered the injury after being tackled by West Coast captain Luke Shuey in the opening quarter of Saturday's match at Marvel Stadium, with the ruckman's ankle twisting as a result of the contest.

Xerri was unable to continue in the match and was subbed out of the game, with midfielder Wil Phillips taking his place.

Further assessment of Xerri's ailment has seen the club place their developing ruckman under the knife, with North Melbourne football boss Todd Viney confirming the blow on Monday afternoon.

“This is disappointing news for Tristan after an outstanding pre-season, everyone at the club was looking forward to seeing him evolve as a ruckman and build on his game,” Viney said in a club statement.

“Once surgery is completed tomorrow, the club will have more clarity around Tristan's rehab plan.”

A syndesmosis injury is likely to force Xerri out of action for close to two or three months, and potentially further, in what is an early blow for Alastair Clarkson's first year at the helm of the Kangaroos.

Clarkson will be able to call on veteran ruckman Todd Goldstein for his side's Round 2 bout with Fremantle and beyond, with Clarkson revealing the decision to name Xerri ahead of the 295-game veteran was a 'flip of the coin' decision.

North Melbourne are hoping to have Ben McKay (foot, TBC), George Wardlaw (hamstring/conditioning, 1-2 weeks), Jack Mahoney (shoulder, 2-3 weeks) and Jackson Archer (groin, 1-2 weeks) available in the coming rounds.

The Roos will make the trip to Optus Stadium on Saturday, where they will face Fremantle at 7:30pm (AEDT).