St Kilda Ben Paton will miss a large chunk of the 2024 season after rupturing his pectoral tendon during training on Monday.
The Saints say the injury occurred as the intensity ramps up for upcoming practice matches.
Paton, 25, has played 67 games since debuting in 2018 including 12 appearances in 2023 but may not play until mid-season.
“This is obviously a disappointing blow for Ben,” footy boss David Misson said in a club statement.
Ben Paton is set for an extended period on the sidelines following an injury at training.— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) February 6, 2024
Injury update 🗞️⬇️
“Sadly, this isn’t the first time Ben has dealt with a lengthy injury setback having broken his tibia and fibula in 2021, however he proved that he has the resilience and strength to overcome such adversity.
“Ben will see the surgeon today next and will likely have surgery later this week.
“We will be best poised to ascertain his return to play timeline after that, however, early indications suggest the rehabilitation period with be at least three months.”
Meanwhile, trade recruit Paddy Dow is on light duties after a knock to his knee last week. He won’t train fully for the next two weeks at least, placing his position to play any practice matches this pre-season in jeopardy.
The Saints have their first match simulation on Friday, February 23 against Essendon before a final warmup against North Melbourne on March 3.