ESSENDON forward Jaiden Hunter has ruptured his ACL and is set to miss the 2024 season.
Hunter, 21, suffered the injury during a match simulation drill on Tuesday.
"Jaiden has worked extremely hard over the pre-season to return to full training following an injury interrupted end to 2023, so we are all extremely disappointed for him," Essendon general manager of AFL Daniel McPherson said.
"The incident occurred in an innocuous marking contest during match simulation, where Jaiden was then assisted from the ground.
"Jaiden will undergo surgery in due course, and everyone at Essendon will be fully behind him as he commences his rehab journey."
The Bombers selected Hunter during the Mid-Season Rookie Draft last year and he kicked four goals in a VFL clash against Carlton in June.
But he was then sidelined after a hot spot stress injury was found in his back.
Essendon begins its 2024 season against Hawthorn on March 16.