Sam Sturt kicks a goal during Fremantle's clash against Brisbane in round 21, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

FREMANTLE forward Sam Sturt has undergone minor knee surgery, with the young goalkicker expected to return to full training by late January.

Sturt, who cemented himself in the Dockers' forward line in the second half of last season, was sent for scans after experiencing discomfort in his left knee after training on Monday.

The 23-year-old is expected to be sidelined for a short period only before returning in mid-to-late January to build towards pre-season games.

"After seeking medical advice following the scan, it's been decided – in consultation with our medical team and Sam – that the best course of action is to undergo a minor procedure," Fremantle general manager of football Joe Brierty said.

"It’s unfortunate for Sam as he has been really diligent in his off-season and he hit the ground running in the early part of pre-season.

"Our performance health team will work with Sam to have him back on track and in full training as early as possible in the new year."

Sam Sturt runs towards goal during Fremantle's practice match against Port Adelaide at Fremantle Oval on March 2, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Sturt found his place in the Dockers' forward line late last season with an 11-goal patch between rounds 18 and 22, bringing versatility to the attacking group.

The talented forward has battled injuries throughout his career but managed a career-best 14 games, with 2024 looming as a crucial season for the 2018 first-round selection after hitting a trigger to extend his deal with the Dockers by one year.