MICHAEL Walters' worst fears have been confirmed after it was revealed on Wednesday that the dynamic Fremantle forward requires surgery on his injured left ankle.
Walters dislocated a tendon in his left ankle during the Dockers' round three loss to Hawthorn nearly a fortnight ago but had to wait until the swelling subsided in his ankle before he could be advised on the best course of action.
The 23-year-old travelled to Melbourne on Wednesday to have scans with a specialist and was advised that he would require surgery.
Last week, Fremantle said Walters could miss the entire season, depending on the severity of the injury.
However, Freo's football operations manager Chris Bond said the recovery time for Walters' surgery was unknown.
"He will now undergo surgery later in the week," Bond said.
"At this stage an assessment of how many weeks Michael could miss will be carried out after his surgery and recovery phase are completed.
"In the past he has shown great strength of character and great resilience, so we believe that with the appropriate recovery period and rehabilitation program, Michael will return to full training."
Michael Barlow (knee), Chris Mayne (ankle), Garrick Ibbotson (shoulder), Nat Fyfe (suspension) and Colin Sylvia (WAFL suspension) have all been missing for several weeks, although Mayne and Fyfe could return for Saturday's clash with the Sydney Swans.
Walters was the club's leading goalkicker in 2013 with 46 and was named in the All Australian 40-man squad.