The Western Bulldogs will be without Jarrad Grant for the start of the AFL season with the forward fracturing his foot.
Grant underwent surgery on his left foot on Monday, which will leave him in a moonboot for six weeks.
With the Bulldogs' opening-round match just nine weeks away in Perth against West Coast, Grant will face a delayed start to the season on medical advice.
The Bulldogs' medical services manager Andrew McKenzie said scans showed the need to stabilise Grant's foot.
"Jarrad got landed on in a tackle on Friday, and subsequently sustained a fracture to his left foot," he said.
McKenzie said after an initial six-week layoff, he would be assessed for a potential season start date.
"He will have a review with the surgeon to determine when he will return to play after that time," he said.
Football manager Graham Lowe said he was confident Jarrad would bounce back.
"Jarrad is in relatively good spirits, and is now looking forward to diligently rehabilitating his injury," Lowe said.