Jaidyn Stephenson has hit back at critics over his Round 17 performance against Collingwood, admitting that while his performance was below par, injuries had taken their toll on his body.

The 23-year-old Kangaroo drew the ire of critics for his performance against his former side, in which he had just 12 touches as North failed to hold onto a 26-point three quarter time lead.

Stephenson was substituted from the game in the final term as he struggled with back and leg injuries, with the young Roo conceding that he was a "liability" on the field.

"I wasn't able to compete properly in those contests and that was due to my pain in my leg and my back," Stephenson said to Channel Nine on Monday.

"I ran off and said, 'I'll get subbed out, I'm a bit of a liability here at the moment'."

In the aftermath of the 7-point loss, Stephenson was widely panned, with comments by former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon the most scathing.

"He physically doesn't compete whether it was at Collingwood or North Melbourne," Lyon said on Triple M.

"He causes issues off the field. He's getting overpaid. Every time you pick a team you're sending a message, enough of Jaidyn Stephenson for me.

"How many kilos do you think he's put on since he got drafted? He's not applying himself, he's taking the mickey. Would you want to walk down the race with him? I wouldn't."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Jack Ginnivan of the Magpies is challenged by Jaidyn Stephenson of the Kangaroos during the round 17 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 09, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Stephenson responded to those comments, admitting that the media feedback was "disappointing".

"All the people that commented have achieved a lot more than I have and it does hurt, I suppose," Stephenson said.

"You've got to be resilient and probably the negative stories sell more than the positive stories.

"I suppose the disappointing thing is that these blokes make comments without actually indulging in the finer details or the circumstances as to why an event may occur.

"I completely agree with them, the contests weren't up to scratch, but if they had have watched the other three quarters of the game, my contested stuff was reasonably good."

The young Roo remains in doubt for North's Round 18 clash against Richmond after undergoing scans on Monday. Stephenson has played 11 games thus far in 2022.