Fremantle defender Alex Pearce has had to undergo further surgery on his left ankle.
Pearce initially suffered a season-ending ankle injury in round 11 last season against Collingwood at the MCG.
In December last year, the 24-year-old underwent a minor procedure to assist with the final stage of the fracture healing.
He was able to resume full training in March and was on track to play in round two before the season was suspended due to Covid-19.
Pearce continued to train in isolation and recently experienced discomfort in his ankle following a session.
“Alex consulted a specialist and the advice was that he undergo surgery on a small area of the fracture at the front of his ankle,” general manager of football Peter Bell said.
“The specialist is confident that the procedure will resolve the issue and allow Alex to resume training.
“Once Alex has recovered from the surgery and commenced his rehabilitation phase we will have a better understanding of when he can resume training.
“It’s incredibly frustrating and disappointing for Alex, particularly given that he was so close to playing before the season was shut down.”