St Kilda defender Jake Carlisle will be forced to undergo surgery on his back, sidelining him for six weeks and likely to see him in rehabilitation for several months.
As first reported early last week by Tom Browne on Triple M's Hot Breakfast, Carlisle will go under the knife to relieve pressure on a nerve in his lower back caused by a disc protrusion.
The 27-year-old will be sidelined for six weeks before commencing a rehabilitation program that is expected to take several months, according to the Saints.
“When he’s playing well, we know Jake is one of the best defenders in the game, so it’s obviously disappointing not to have him available,” St Kilda's general manager of football Simon Lethlean said.
“Given he hasn’t been able to train with any intensity since Christmas we were able to prepare for the start of the season knowing he would likely be missing, but unfortunately he will now miss a considerable amount of football.
“Guys like Josh Battle and Darragh Joyce have stepped up over the summer and will get their opportunity which is exciting.
“Thankfully with Dylan Roberton back, joined by the likes of Jarryn Geary, Jimmy Webster and Nathan Brown, we have good experience in our backline that will be able to help fill the void.”