St Kilda defender Nick Coffield has suffered a suspected ACL injury in training and could be set to miss the entire 2022 AFL campaign.
The Saints are priced at 8/5 to finish in the top eight of the AFL in the 2022 season but have already been hit by a big blow before a ball has even been bounced.
The 22-year-old picked up the injury in his right knee during a match simulation session on Friday and the club now face an anxious wait to discover the full extent of the damage.
Coffield will be sent for scans but the club are already fearing the worse and suspect that he has damaged the ACL and will be out for a while.
"Early assessments from our medical team suggest it's an ACL, but we'll need to wait for scans to confirm the injury," chief operating officer Simon Lethlean said.
"This is obviously a really disappointing blow for Nick who has been showing positive signs all pre-season.
"Whatever the outcome, we know that Nick will attack his rehab with complete professionalism and the club will be supporting him every step of the way."
Coffield found himself in and out of the St Kilda side in the 2021 AFL campaign but finished it strongly and showed his quality with 21 disposals in the round 23 win over Fremantle.
He would have been hoping to carry that form into the new season but looks to have been stopped in his tracks by this injury setback.
Coffield has played 52 AFL since making his debut in 2018 and unfortunately it looks as though he may have to wait a while before adding to that tally.