Blake Acres in action against South Australia
DRAFT prospect Blake Acres will miss the rest of the season after deciding to have surgery on his troublesome shoulder.
Acres has battled the shoulder injury for the majority of the season, but played the final two games of Western Australia's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
In his first game, against Vic Country in round four, Acres dislocated his shoulder in the opening quarter but played on to gather 15 disposals and kick a goal.
But his season is now over, with the mobile midfielder to undergo surgery this week.
It is not a full reconstruction but will see the damaged shoulder ligaments repaired.
"After the first injury, in May, the injury was responding to the rehab program he was doing, so he opted not to have surgery then," West Perth football manager Jamie Ball said.
"But he'll get it now and be back to full fitness by November.
"Hopefully what he showed earlier in the year is enough for him. He's quite a special talent. He's really taken on the role as captain this year and has really pushed himself off-field with his leadership."
The 17-year-old, listed at 188cm and 84kg, played on the wing and through the flanks for Western Australia but he moves well and can play in a number of roles.
Some recruiters believe he has the talent to be a top-20 draft pick in November.
In nine games for West Perth's colts side this year he averaged 27 disposals and kicked 10 goals.
"He can be a taller midfielder, and also be used across half-back. He's got running capacity and foot skills to go through both of those areas," Ball said.
It means perhaps the three best draft hopefuls out of Western Australia this year are set to miss the remainder of the season, following long-term injuries to Dom Sheed (collarbone) and Cameron McCarthy (leg).
Callum Twomey is a reporter for the AFL website. Follow him on Twitter at @AFL_CalTwomey.