St Kilda forward Max King is expected to undergo a shoulder reconstruction after an incident at pre-season training.
King left the field during Monday’s training session after injuring his left shoulder in a marking contest, with scans on Tuesday confirming the severity of the injury.
The club said King would see a surgeon on Wednesday, with the expected outcome a shoulder reconstruction.
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“Obviously this is an extremely disappointing setback for Max,” football boss Geoff Walsh said via the club website.
“He had come back for pre-season in really great condition, which is a credit to his professionalism; a trait we know will stand him in good stead as he works through his rehab over the next few months.
“The recovery and rehabilitation period for this injury will be a number of months, which we will provide updates on as he progresses through his rehab program – suffice to say his return to play will not be until the season is well underway.”
King was St Kilda’s leading goalkicker in 2022, booting 52 goals – a tally that could’ve been even greater if not for wayward goalkicking at times that saw him register 41 behinds.
He was taken with pick No.4 in the 2018 draft, while twin brother Ben was drafted by Gold Coast with pick No.6.