The Saints have pledged their faith to Hayes despite the setback, with the SANFL product anticipated to receive a contract extension for 2023 after a stellar first five games in the red, white and black.
Saints football boss David Rath was empathetic for Hayes, but expressed his hope in eventually seeing the 26-year-old return for the club.
“Injuries like this are always difficult, but this one seems particularly cruel,” Rath told saints.com.au.
“Jack’s journey to the AFL was long and unconventional, but ever since joining our club he really grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
“Knowing Jack will miss the rest of the year is disappointing, but as a club we’ll wrap our arms around him and make sure he’s got all the support he needs throughout his rehab.
“Jack’s a terrific person and a great footballer and we look forward to seeing what he can do in 2023.”
Hayes averaged 12 disposals, 4.6 marks and two clearances to start the season, also booting six goals in sharing his time between attack and ruck.
The former Woodville-West Torrens star ventured to Moorabbin in the pre-season and was recruited by the Eagles as a Supplemental Selection Period signing.