Essendon have confirmed Peter Wright will require surgery after dislocating his shoulder at training on Friday, with the Bombers' best and fairest winner set to miss the opening half of the 2023 season.
Wright was left in the hands of medical staff during this week's session at Tullamarine and underwent scans shortly after the injury.
Deciding to take a cautious approach for the betterment of Wright's recovery, Essendon have confirmed Wright will go under the knife next week before facing a lengthy period on the sidelines.
"We're really disappointed for Pete. He has had a terrific pre-season, and was in great shape leading into Sunday,” Essendon's general manager of performance Dan McPherson said in a club statement.
"The results of yesterday's scan indicate surgery is required to properly repair the injury.
"Pete is an incredibly important part of our future, so we'll take the necessary time to get this right, and we'll look forward to welcoming him back into the team in the second half of the season."
The injury blow comes in the same week Wright was rewarded with a four-year contract extension, locking his services to the red and black until the end of the 2027 season.
Wright claimed the 2022 Crichton Medal thanks to a 53-goal season last year, announcing himself as a premier forward threat in the competition.