PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: Joel Hamling of the Dockers handballs during the round 15 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the St Kilda Saints at Domain Stadium on July 2, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Fremantle key defender Joel Hamling is set to miss the start of the AFL season after suffering an injury to his left ankle during training on Monday.

After having scans late yesterday, the results confirmed that Hamling had suffered a significant injury to the ligaments of his ankle.

Fremantle’s general manager of football Peter Bell told fremantlefc.com.au: “Joel landed heavily on his left ankle after contesting a mark at training on Monday and was sent for scans, which confirmed the nature of the injury.”

“He will be further assessed by a specialist, after which we will have a more accurate estimate of the recovery time Joel’s injury will require.”

The injury to Hamling comes after Fremantle already suffered a hit to their defensive stocks with key defender Alex Pearce having been ruled out for the season with an ankle injury.