Surgery puts Anderson on sidelines

30 December 2017 22:28:16 GMTPlus11

North Melbourne won't see Jed Anderson return to training until at least late January after he had surgery on his left thumb.

The injury-prone Kangaroo's latest setback adds to a list that has included shoulder operations three years apart and three hamstring injuries.

The former Hawthorn player, who is coming into the final year of his three-year deal, had surgery on his thumb before Christmas.

He had sustained the damage at training, and is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks.

The timing of the injury is particularly cruel for Anderson, whose manager Tom Petroro said had been having a strong pre-season.

"He's had a great summer, so thumb surgery isn't going to set him back, I wouldn't have thought," said Petroro.

Anderson went off his own bat to Utah for the Kangaroos high-altitude camp for first-to-fourth-year players.

"He didn't have to go, but he volunteered and he's probably in the best condition he's ever been in," said Petroro. "He's done a lot of work and he's in a really good spot."

The midfielder-forward arrived at Arden Street from the Hawks in the 2015 Trade Period, when the Kangaroos exchanged picks 15 and 54 in that year's draft for him.

He's played 15 of his 25 overall AFL games since he joined, but injuries have played a part in him failing to fulfil his potential so far.

The 23-year-old was an under-15 and under-18 All Australian and a star performer in the NT's division two triumph at the 2012 AFL Under-18 Championships, alongside Jake Neade and Dom Barry.

Anderson's brother, Joe, played 17 matches for Carlton between 2007 and 2010, while his sister, Jasmine, was on Adelaide's AFLW list during its historic premiership run this year.

North Melbourne are 125/1 to win the 2018 Grand Final. The Kangaroos are 11/4 to suffer the most losses.

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