GOLD Coast midfielder David Swallow has had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and has no timeframe on a return.
The setback continues a frustrating run for the 23-year-old, who played just six games in 2015 after suffering back-to-back posterior cruciate ligament injuries.
After a disjointed pre-season already, he is now almost certain to be unavailable for the start of the season.
Gold Coast released a statement on Wednesday afternoon outlining his latest injury.
"David had an arthroscopy after experiencing some discomfort in his left knee," general manager of football operations Marcus Ashcroft said.
"The arthroscope revealed that David’s recovery hadn’t progressed as well as he had hoped and as a result his return to football will be delayed."
Swallow was originally meant to rejoin the main training group in coming weeks before Tuesday's surgery.
Ashcroft said there was no timeframe on Swallow's return.
"Our medical team will review the information and consult further," he said.
"We will have a clearer picture regarding ongoing management later in the week.”
Gold Coast is already missing midfield ace Jaeger O'Meara (knee). There is no timeframe on his return either.
Following Sunday's NAB Challenge win over the Brisbane Lions, coach Rodney Eade said Dion Prestia (knee) would play the Suns' next match against West Coast on March 3, while captain Gary Ablett was expected to play their third NAB Challenge on March 11.
Swallow has played 79 games since being selected at pick No.1 in the 2010 NAB AFL Draft.