Wayne Milera is assessed after injuring his knee during the match between Fremantle and Adelaide at Optus Stadium in round three, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ADELAIDE defender Wayne Milera will miss the rest of the 2024 season after suffering a serious knee injury in Friday night's 35-point loss to Fremantle at Optus Stadium.

Scans on Sunday have revealed a ruptured patella tendon after Milera's knee buckled underneath him in a marking contest late in the game.

The 26-year-old avoided tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the incident but is set to undergo surgery in the coming days, ending his campaign before the end of March.


It's another significant setback for the luckless Crow, who missed all of 2021 after suffering the same injury on his other knee during a practice match on the eve of that season.

The Central Districts product finished top-10 in last year's Malcolm Blight Medal after playing 22 games – the most of his career – in a career-best season, where he showed his quality off half-back, averaging just under 20 disposals per game.

Milera has endured a nightmare injury run across his first eight seasons in the AFL and is stranded on 99 games.

The 2015 pick No. 11 managed only two appearances in 2020 due to a stress fracture in his foot and is now facing another long rehabilitation period of up to 12 months.

"It's obviously devastating for Wayne who has dealt with his fair share of unfortunate injuries in his career so far," Crows high performance manager Darren Burgess said.

"The surgery will mean he will miss the rest of the season while focusing on his rehabilitation.

"Unfortunately, he has been through this before so he knows the road ahead, but as we know with Wayne he is a very strong, positive person who will do everything to ensure he returns bigger and better next year."

Adelaide is now 0-3 for the first time since coach Matthew Nicks' first season in 2020 and launches Gather Round against a red-hot Melbourne next Thursday night in a crunch game for the club.