North Melbourne ruckman Tristan Xerri faces time out from full contact training after suffering a facial injury during match simulation last Friday.

As reported by Josh Gabelich of AFL Media, the Roos' starting ruckman will go under the knife to have a plate inserted in his face after being felled late last week.

While Xerri is slated to be able to take part in non-contact training drills upon his return, the rising ruckman is likely to sit out full contact portions of the program.

Xerri played nine senior games in 2023, bringing his career total to 33 since making his way to Arden Street with the 72nd Pick of the 2017 AFL Draft.

The Western Jets product has big shoes to fill on-field in 2024, with Xerri expected to take on the top job under Alastair Clarkson following the off-season departure of Todd Goldstein to Essendon.

Despite Goldstein's presence, Xerri would have almost certainly have seen more senior action last season had it not been for a persistent foot injury.

Xerri remains contracted to the Roos until the end of the 2025 season after previously seeking a trade to St Kilda during the 2021 exchange period.

The 24-year-old now has 28 days to shake off any ill effects of surgery, with North Melbourne scheduled to face Collingwood in its opening scratch match on Wednesday, February 21.

The Kangaroos will commence their season proper when it travels to face GWS at the Showgrounds on Saturday, March 16.