Essendon defender Jason Ashby has been ruled out for up to two months due to a dislocated kneecap.
Ashby, who has played 10 games in his short career, suffered the injury in a VFL practice match.
It is a further blow to Essendon’s already depleted backline.
“Jason went down with a knee problem,” Essendon high performance manager Justin Crow said.
“We had that scanned and it turns out he had a small patella dislocation, or kneecap dislocation.
“We’re looking at a couple of months out with that but sometimes players do a little bit better so there is a bit of hope there for Jase.”
Ashby played five games last season, but was expected to have a bigger role this season due to the one-year ban to 12 current Essendon players.