Essendon star Dyson Heppell has suffered a fresh injury setback, with the skipper set to undergo ankle surgery that will sideline him for most of the AFL season.
The 28-year-old fractured his left ankle in a tackle late in Friday’s training session at the club’s Tullamarine headquarters.
It continues a tough run for Heppell, who missed round one after he had surgery in February to remove a screw that was inserted as part of a post-season operation to alleviate the pain of a nagging foot injury.
“It’s an unrelated injury to his foot, but we immediately had the area scanned which identified a fracture in the left ankle,” Bombers football chief Dan Richardson said.
“It’s very disappointing for both Dyson and the club.
“Currently, it is difficult to put a timeframe on a return prior to him having surgery, but we remain hopeful he will return to the field this season.”
Heppell played his first game of the campaign last week, gathering 17 possessions in a dramatic six-point win over Sydney at the SCG.
The Bombers will attempt to improve to a 3-0 record on Sunday when they host Melbourne at the MCG.