COLLINGWOOD is set to be without Jeremy Howe for a significant portion of the 2020 season, after the high-flying defender suffered a ruptured posterior cruciate ligament during Friday night's defeat to Greater Western Sydney.

Howe will have knee surgery on Thursday, with the star backman also damaging medial ligaments in the same right knee following a brutal collision with Giants midfielder Jacob Hopper.

>> WATCH THE INCIDENT IN THE PLAYER ABOVE

The incident came in the fourth quarter of Friday night's two-point loss at Giants Stadium, with Collingwood football boss Geoff Walsh believing Howe will be out for months.

Jeremy Howe has suffered a ruptured PCL. Picture: AFL Photos

"Jeremy met with a specialist today, after having scans on Saturday. It is a bitter pill for him and us to swallow but in terms of certainty of outcome and the nature of the injury surgery is the recommended option," Walsh said.

"It isn’t possible to be precise about how long Jeremy’s recovery might take but we know it is going to be a matter of months rather than weeks.

"As a highly popular figure and a leader we look forward to seeing him back. I know he is keen to remain involved with the team as he recovers, contributing all that he can."

Howe had been one of the game's in-form defenders throughout the first four weeks of the season, averaging 21.5 disposals and 6.5 marks per game.