Injury-cursed Roo out of pre-season action after surgery

INJURY-PRONE North Melbourne forward/mid Daria Bannister will be sidelined for most of the pre-season after undergoing surgery on her left meniscus.

The 21-year-old hurt her knee (which has previously needed a reconstruction) during the TSLW Grand Final last month while playing for Launceston, where teammate Mia King was awarded best-on-ground honours.

Bannister is not expected to return to training until late January.

The bullocking Roo - initially drafted with pick No.19 in 2017 by the Western Bulldogs - has had a tough run in the AFLW thus far, with injuries restricting her to three games in three seasons.

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She tore her left ACL in her debut back in 2018 while playing for the Bulldogs, which then restricted Bannister to just two games at new club North Melbourne the following year.

Daria Bannister clutches her knee during the round one clash between the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle at VU Whitten Oval on February 4, 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

Bannister subsequently broke her collarbone (pictured) in round one of 2020.

"It's an unfortunate setback for Daria but her commitment to rehab is second to none, and we are confident she will do everything possible to get back training as soon as possible," North Melbourne AFLW footy operations manager Nathan Hrovat said.

"Daria is an important player and person in our program, and we know she will bounce back from this injury."