GOLD Coast key forward Jed Walter will miss the start of the season after breaking his collarbone at training on Monday.
The 2023 pick No.3 is understood to have sustained the injury after diving for a ball and landing awkwardly at Austworld Centre.
Walter is set to be sidelined for up to eight weeks, ruling him out of the Suns' practice matches against Brisbane and Greater Western Sydney, plus the start of the Damien Hardwick era when Richmond travels to Heritage Bank Stadium in Opening Round.
The Gold Coast Academy product has been booked in for surgery later this week, with a return date to become clearer following the operation.
Walter has made a strong impression across his maiden pre-season in Carrara and was pushing his case for an Opening Round debut before the injury.
The 195cm spearhead has turned heads inside Gold Coast with his running ability and will still be able to run during his rehabilitation block.
Walter was one of four players Gold Coast recruited from its Academy last November, along with Ethan Read (pick No.9), Jake Rogers (No.14) and Will Graham (No.26), who were all picked on night one of the 2023 AFL Draft.
The Palm Beach Currumbin product stamped himself as one of the best players in his draft class after being named All-Australian at under-18 level in 2022 and 2023.
Walter will still be one of the leading contenders for the 2024 Rising Star Award despite facing a delayed start to his debut season.