HAWTHORN will be without star forward Jarryd Roughead for the first half of the season after the club decided he needs a PCL reconstruction.
The Hawks football manager Chris Fagan told the club's website Roughead will be missing for four to five months.
He said the 29-year-old had been able to manage the injury in the past but medical opinion now was that surgery was required.
"He's actually had a PCL injury for a long time, but in the past if it's got a little bit sore he just has a day off and it clears up and he continues to train and play," Fagan said.
"He didn't miss any games with it last year, he had a perfect pre-season up until Christmas time, and for some unknown reason the knee's got sore just lately, and not recovering when we've given him a rest."
Roughead, who married Sarah Dunn on Saturday, had an operation in 2015 to treat skin cancer but missed just two games on his way to once again playing a crucial role in the Hawks' third consecutive premiership.
He has played in four flags with the Hawks, kicking at least 50 goals in each of their premiership years, and is considered one of the game's most valuable players.
Twice All-Australian, he represented Australia in the International Rules Series in Ireland in November.
Fagan said Roughead would bounce back.
"He'll take that in his stride, and as he said to me the other day, he'll be really fresh in the second half of the year and can't wait for that to come around," Fagan said.
And the Hawks' football manager said the club was looking on the bright side.
"It does give some opportunities for some of our younger forwards like James Sicily and Tim O'Brien to step up, so we're really looking forward to seeing how those guys go, knowing that we've got Rough coming back on-board mid-season."