Collingwood youngster Matthew Scharenberg will undergo a knee reconstruction after injuring himself at training on Monday.
Scharenberg, 20, missed most of the 2015 season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and will miss most, if not all, of next season as he goes through the same process with his right knee after the innocuous mishap.
“This is obviously disappointing for everyone but foremost for Matthew,” Collingwood director of football Neil Balme said.
“(But) he is only 20. He has his career before him and he is made of the right stuff. He has the mental strength and dedication to overcome a difficulty like this.
“We will look after him with all the care we can offer to make the period before his return as smooth as possible.”
The South Australian defender has endured a horror run since selected sixth overall at the 2013 draft.
Stress fractures in his feet sidelined him for the majority of 2014 and he underwent his first knee reconstruction after injuring himself in just his sixth VFL game for the Pies.
He made his long-awaited AFL debut in round 18 last season and played four senior games but is in danger of missing the entire 2016 campaign as he recovers from surgery scheduled for next week.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley took to Twitter to express his disappointment for the luckless youngster, who signed a three-year extension with the club in September.
“Not many more dedicated and professional young men than Shaz,” Buckley tweeted.
“He’ll do everything to fulfil his dreams and ours. Feel for him right now.”