Young North Melbourne midfielder Will Phillips will sit out the remainder of the 2022 season due to illness.

Phillips was sidelined for the opening half of the year after battling with COVID and glandular fever, and despite overcoming an initial bout of illness, is continuing to deal with health setbacks.

The former first-round selection has not featured for David Noble's side but made three appearances for the club's VFL side earlier this year.

North Melbourne confirmed on Tuesday that the 20-year-old will be sidelined for the remainder of their campaign.

“It’s been pretty tough and frustrating. I’ve just tried to stay in the present as much as possible and look forward to hopefully what is a long career,” Phillips told North Media.

“I’ve got to stay patient and believe that in the long-term I’ll be okay. I’m doing everything I can to get myself healthy again, get to the point where I can run and perform exercises in the gym and go again for a big pre-season.

“I’ll be hungrier than ever to get back into things having missed a lot of games this year.”

Phillips played 16 matches in his debut season last year, averaging 9.5 disposals, 2.1 tackles and 1.2 clearances per game.

HOBART, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Will Phillips of the Kangaroos and Tristan Xerri of the Kangaroos lead the team off the ground after a win during the 2021 AFL Round 15 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Gold Coast Suns at Blundstone Arena on June 26, 2021 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

North Melbourne football boss Dan McPherson expressed his frustrations in the decision but noted it was one with Phillips' long-term health at the forefront of the club's mind.

“It’s been a very disappointing year for Will,” McPherson said.

“After a really good pre-season, Will had his sights firmly set on taking his game to the next level in 2022.

“Will is a fantastic young man whose maturity and perspective on life has helped him deal with his current situation so well. Frustratingly, for both Will and the club, he just hasn’t been able to shake the lingering effects of glandular fever. We think it’s best to take the expectation off him for the rest of the year and allow him to focus on his recovery as he builds towards 2023.”

Phillips joins first-year player Miller Bergman as the other Roo to be sidelined for the remainder of the season.