Geelong forward Cory Gregson has suffered another injury setback that will see him miss the start of the season.
Gregson has been recovering from a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his foot, an injury that ended his 2016 season early.
But some discomfort in his foot over the Christmas break saw the 20-year-old go under the knife once again to remove a screw.
It will see Gregson unable to participate in even light training for the next 10 weeks, according to Geelong general manager of football Steve Hocking.
"Cory’s recovery has been steady, but these types of injuries take time to heal and fully recover," he said.
"Unfortunately Cory has been experiencing some pain and surgery was the preferred option to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
"We expect Cory to return to light training duties in around 10 weeks."
Gregson has played 29 games since making his debut in 2015, kicking 17 goals and earning a Rising Star nomination.