Murray Bridge AFL export Chad Wingard has ruptured his Achilles tendon while playing for Hawthorn against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday.
The former Imperial Football Club player is facing up to a year on the sidelines following the ground injury on Sunday.
The injury occurred in the opening minutes of the game in at Launceston, Tasmania, in which the Hawks would win by three points.
The 30-year-old met with a specialist on Monday in Melbourne, where the club’s initial fears were confirmed.
AFL.com.au journalists Sarah Olle and Josh Gabelich said the dual All-Australian is set to go under the knife in the coming days and will be forced to overcome a long road back with recovery time of between nine to 12 months.
“Wingard is out of contract at the end of October and facing an uncertain future given the Hawks are in the early stage of a rebuild and rival suitors may not be prepared to sign a player that will be unavailable for most, if not all, of 2024,” said AFL.com.au journalists Sarah Olle and Josh Gabelich.