Collingwood defender Paul Seedsman is in doubt for the start of the AFL season after undergoing hip surgery.
Collingwood football director Rodney Eade said on Tuesday the decision to schedule the operation for January would hopefully give the 22-year-old enough time to return to full fitness in March.
"He was training well but had a problem in his hip that was impinging on his running," Eade said on the club's website.
"He could have gone through the season with it but we felt, by midyear, he would have had to download and cut his training and that would have most likely impacted on his playing.
"It is still early in the season, so we felt it was best to have the surgery now and it is only a six-week (lay)off and we can get him back into full training again."
Seedsman played 18 games in 2013.
Collingwood face Fremantle in round one at Etihad Stadium on March 14.