Hawthorn has announced forward Chad Wingard has ruptured his Achilles tendon, with the lively goalkicker expected to miss up to a year of football.

In the opening minutes of his side's heart-stopping three-point victory over the Western Bulldogs, the 30-year-old went down after an innocuous-looking incident. He was swiftly substituted for youngster Bailey Macdonald.

Wingard suffered two injuries earlier this season; a calf injury and a gruesome lacerated tongue. He's been limited to 14 games this season, however, was an integral part of Hawthorn's huge victory over Collingwood last week, finishing with a season-high 29 disposals.

Wingard is set to have surgery at some point in the next fortnight and will be sidelined for an extended period of time, with Hawks football boss Rob McCartney providing a statement outlining the club's support for Wingard.

"Whilst we know this is a disappointing outcome for Chad, his teammates, and the wider Hawthorn family, what we do know is Chad is a man of great resilience, and we will continue to support him on his road to full recovery post-surgery," said McCartney.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Chad Wingard of the Hawks in action during the round one AFL match between Hawthorn Hawks and Essendon Bombers at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on March 19, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Since crossing over to Hawthorn from Port Adelaide at the end of the 2018 season, Wingard's five seasons with the Hawks have been injury-riddled, managing a total of just 71 games.

The half-forward remains without a contract past 2023 and could be looking elsewhere to continue his playing career. Hawthorn has the youngest list in the competition and it remains unclear whether Wingard is in Sam Mitchell's future plans.

Young stars appear to be the club's progressive building blocks, with the likes of midfielder Jai Newcombe, forward Mitch Lewis, and utility Will Day leading from the front, Wingard's future at Waverley looks cloudy, to say the least.

The Hawks will look to add another underdog victory to their belt as they take on Melbourne in Round 23 at the MCG this Sunday at 3:20 PM (AEST).