MELBOURNE midfielder Clayton Oliver will have a delayed start to pre-season, with the gun onballer to have surgery on both of his shoulders in the coming weeks.
Oliver revealed the news to AFL.com.au on the Brownlow red carpet just days after the Demons' disappointing 66-point preliminary final loss to West Coast.
"I'm having two shoulder 'recos' (reconstructions) so I'll be on the couch most of the time," Oliver said.
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Demons football manager Josh Mahoney confirmed the midfielder had been booked in for the procedures, with Oliver not beginning contact training until January at the earliest.
"Clayton injured both his shoulders during the year and will require surgery. He will have a latarjet operation on both shoulders," Mahoney said.
"It's not as significant as a full shoulder reconstruction, but Clayton will need a 2-3 week separation between the procedures.
"He was unable to complete many contact drills at training in the last two months, so to perform the way that he did in that period is remarkable."
.@bdbrown50 and @darcyvee with the scoop.— AFL.com.au (@AFLcomau) September 24, 2018
Clayton Oliver says he'll undergo two shoulder reconstructions this off season.
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Geelong champion Gary Ablett had a similar operation in May 2016, which saw the then Gold Coast Sun have a piece of bone and muscle removed from elsewhere in his shoulder and screwed to the front of the joint, acting as a block to stop it from dislocating again.
Ablett missed between three and four months in his recovery from the surgery.
Oliver, enjoyed a superb 2018 season, winning his first All Australian guernsey on his way to averaging 29.4 disposals and 6.5 clearances per game.