Blues defender Liam Stocker has been sidelined for three months after suffering a syndesmosis injury in the pre-season.
Carlton confirmed on Friday morning that Stocker suffered the injury at training after being tackled, with the 21-year-old having sustained a medium-grade ankle injury.
Scans have diagnosed Stocker's setback as a syndesmosis injury, with the young Blues backman set to miss the next 12 weeks of action.
The injury comes ahead of the Blues' final training session of 2021, with all senior players and staff set to go on break ahead of the new year.
Syndesmosis: The how, what and where?
Blues football boss Brad Lloyd said the club will continue to monitor Stocker's fitness in the coming weeks before further rehabilitation.
”It’s disappointing news for Liam but these experiences are part of footy and we know with his tremendous work ethic, he will throw everything into his rehabilitation over this next period,” Lloyd said, via the club's website.
“Our AFL side is about to commence the three-week break over Christmas, so that will give Liam time to start his recovery from surgery.
“We’ll assess his progress over the next few months and will have a clearer indication on when he will be available to play as we get close to the start of the season.”
Stocker has played 22 games for the Blues since making his debut last year, featuring at AFL level on 17 occasions in 2021 after managing to secure his role in Carlton's defensive third.
The Blues will begin their 2022 campaign against the Tigers on Thursday, March 17.