Ben Paton's 2021 season could be over before it began after suffering a suspected broken leg during St Kilda's intraclub match at Moorabbin on Thursday morning.
Medical staff rushed to the scene to attend to Paton and hold his lower left leg in place.
The 22-year-old is said to have been brought down in a tackle by club staffer Jarryd Roughead, with the Hawthorn premiership player filling in for extra numbers with the Saints carrying a host of injuries.
ALSO IN SPORT:
Players departed the field shortly after with an ambulance called.
Paton was placed on pain assistance and his left leg strapped before he was taken from the field on a stretcher.
The former Murray Bushranger enjoyed a breakout season in 2020, playing all 19 games as a first-choice option against some of the game's premier small forwards.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.