West Coast Eagles forward Liam Ryan is set to undergo surgery to repair a hamstring injury sustained at preseason training on Monday.
Ryan went down early on in the session sparking fears of a hampered return from a similar setback that cut his 2023 campaign short.
The 27-year-old missed almost the entire season with after injury his right hamstring in the round three Derby against Fremantle, which also required surgery.
Following training on Monday, Eagles coach Adam Simpson said "we'll have to wait on the scans".
On Tuesday the club West confirmed Ryan suffered a high-grade hamstring tear with some tendon damage to the opposite leg which is likely to rule out a round one return.
"We are all really disappointed for Liam. He had been working hard this pre-season and over the Christmas break to be ready to go when we start playing practice matches," Eagles general manager football Gavin Bell said.
"We're hopeful he will be available to return in the early rounds of the season. The club will provide an update on his return to play timeframe in due course following surgery."
It could present as awful timing for both player and club.
The Eagles were plagued by injury in a season bringing just three wins and their second wooden spoon since entering the competition in 1987.
Other players reportedly left the track early on Monday with injury concerns.
For Ryan, it comes amid major indications of a two-year contract extension about to be offered to remain at the club until the end of 2026.
He's kicked 123 goals from 89 games since his debut in 2018.