YOUNG Sydney Swans defender Alex Johnson has received some terrible news after it was discovered his knee reconstruction has failed and he is back to square one.
Johnson had experienced some swelling and discomfort with his left knee and an arthroscope discovered significant damage to the repaired ligament.
The 21-year-old, who played every game in last year's premiership campaign before injuring his knee in this year's NAB Cup, will consult with surgeons in the coming weeks and is now seriously considering LARS surgery.
"Alex had experienced some swelling in his knee and a subsequent arthroscope showed the graft of the reconstructed ACL was significantly damaged," Swans coach John Longmire told the club's website.
"It is an extremely rare occurrence that the graft would fail in the way it has and Alex is understandably disappointed, but to his credit he is maintaining a very positive outlook.
"The club, along with Alex, will now consider the best way to move forward.
"Alex is a very important player in our defence and has his best football ahead of him."
There has been a slight delay over the next course of action as the doctor that performed teammate Nick Malceski's successful LARS surgery is away on holidays.
Johnson needs to consult with the surgeon to determine if LARS is a viable option.
The affable youngster is naturally upset at the development, but is doing his best to keep a positive outlook.
"It's obviously been a pretty hard time being in rehab, and having setbacks is one thing, but to have to completely re-start again was really shattering," he said.
"I've had a bit of time to get used to it and I'm just looking forward to getting to the next phase and hopefully I'll have my surgery and then I'll be back on the road again."
James Dampney is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter @AFL_JD