Lin Jong will have a traditional knee reconstruction after the Western Bulldogs confirmed the midfielder tore his ACL in Sunday's loss to Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.
Jong won't play for the rest of the year after his knee buckled when Melbourne co-captain Nathan Jones fell across the Bulldog mid-kick during the first quarter.
Bulldogs head physiotherapist Chris Bell confirmed the news on his club's website. "I'm afraid today that scans have confirmed our fear that Lin Jong has ruptured his ACL," Bell said.
"We're all devastated for Jongy and we'll put a really strong support network around him. He'll undergo a conventional hamstring tendon reconstruction later this week but we look forward to seeing Jongy back into some football in the early parts of 2018."
In better news, captain Bob Murphy is nearing a return from a hamstring injury. "Bob Murphy has continued to progress really well through his rehab for his hamstring injury," Bell said.
"He has nearly ticked of his full speed and has resumed some modified training with the group.
"At the moment he's on track to resume in the next one to two weeks and we'll work with Bob this week to determine when that is."
Meanwhile premiership defender Fletcher Roberts could be available after a concussion in the VFL on the weekend.
The Bulldogs (6-6) face North Melbourne at Docklands on Saturday night.