ESSENDON midfielder Alex Browne will miss the rest of the 2014 season after scans confirmed he has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
The Bombers confirmed the diagnosis on Wednesday, with the club opting for a traditional reconstruction for the 21-year-old.
Browne got his knee caught under Gold Coast opponent Timmy Sumner when attempting a tackle in the club's NAB Challenge clash against the Suns on Monday night.
The Bombers youngster will meet with surgeon Julian Feller on Thursday and could be set for surgery early next week.
"Alex was very unlucky, his leg got caught under his body on the field and as a result he has torn his cruciate and medial ligament. Unfortunately he does need a full, traditional reconstruction," Bombers doctor Bruce Reid told essendonfc.com.au.
"The good news is he hasn't done anything else inside his knee as far as damaging the surface or cartilage, but he will undergo surgery in the coming weeks."
The news is better for ruckman Tom Bellchambers (ankle) who is set to get back out on the track for the start of the home and away season.
Reid estimates Bellchambers will be back in action after the first four or five games of the season.
The 21-year-old foreshadowed the bad news on Twitter on Tuesday evening, writing: "Shattered. Thanks for all the messages and support. Just another obstacle, I'll be right."
Recruited with pick No.48 in the 2010 NAB AFL Draft, Browne played the final six games of the 2012 season but spent last year developing in the VFL.
He signed a one-year contract extension for 2014, saying last September: "The club has given me a great opportunity and I want to repay the faith they’ve shown in me."
"I’m looking forward to working hard over the summer and earning my spot back in the senior team."