Western Bulldogs' Fergus Greene will miss the rest of the season because of a shoulder injury.
The former Sandhurst and Bendigo Pioneers forward injured his shoulder while playing for Footscray in the VFL against Geelong on June 2.
The Bulldogs had hoped Greene would not need surgery, but the worst fears were realised this week.
"Fergus has been in a conservative management model, but unfortunately, we have been unable to improve Fergus' shoulder to a level that will allow him to withstand the demands of AFL footy," Western Bulldogs medical services manager Chris Bell told the club's website.
"Fergus will need a shoulder operation which will end his 2019 campaign, but he'll be ready to attack next pre-season."
The shoulder injury caps a frustrating 2019 for Greene.
After completing a strong pre-season, he only played four games in the VFL because of an ankle injury and then the shoulder complaint.
Greene, who is contracted with the Bulldogs until the end of 2020, played five senior games for the club in 2018. The 20-year-old has taken on an assistant coaching role of the Catherine McAuley College football side.
Meanwhile, former Bendigo Pioneers and Golden Square midfielder Jye Caldwell is still two weeks away from resuming with the GWS Giants because of a calf injury.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.