MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 02: Bernie Vince of the Demons handballs whilst being tackled by Joel Smith during the Melbourne Demons AFL pre-season training session at Gosch's Paddock on December 2, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Melbourne youngster Joel Smith’s AFL debut has ended cruelly, suffering a match ending injury midway through the opening quarter.

Smith, the son of former Melbourne star, Shaun, suffered a dislocated shoulder after being tackled.

The 21-year-old was taken straight to the rooms and was in obvious discomfort.

Sports medical expert, Doctor Peter Larkins, told 3AW radio, the injury could see him sidelined for as long as three months.