MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 30: Hugh Goddard of the Saints handballs during a St Kilda Saints AFL training session at Linen House Oval on May 30, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Young St Kilda defender, Hugh Goddard, has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2017 season due to a foot injury.

Goddard injured his foot in the VFL in round seven and will require surgery to repair ligaments in his right foot.

It is a bitter blow for the 20-year-old, who had his 2016 season cut short by an Achilles injury in round 11 of the AFL last season.

“The way in which Hugh approached his rehabilitation last season was first class and testament to his professionalism,” General Manager of Football Performance Jamie Cox told the club’s website.

“The new injury is unrelated to the Achillies but unfortunately means another extended break on the sidelines which we are certain he will approach in the same manner.

“He remains an important member of our playing group and we will make sure he is well supported to overcome this setback.”

He is expected to be ready to join the group for the beginning of pre-season training at the end of this year.

Goddard was selected with pick No.21 in the 2014 National Draft and has played nine senior games in two seasons.