North Melbourne stalwart Robbie Tarrant will miss half of the AFL season after having kidney surgery.

The key defender, who was sidelined for the season-opener by a groin strain, had a small lump removed from a kidney on Tuesday.

Tarrant expects to return for the second half of the season.

“This is something I have been aware of and had elected to address now rather than wait for the end of the season to have it removed,” Tarrant told his club’s website.

North’s general manager of football Brady Rawlings said the club won’t rush the return of the 164-gamer.

“We fully support Robbie and his decision to have this procedure,” Rawlings said.

“Our focus is solely on his health and well-being.

“Taz is one of the most professional players I’ve seen … he will be extremely diligent with his recovery from this surgery and also his recent adductor strain.”

The Kansas City Chiefs are 2019 NFC Champs - get your gear on at Fanatics