DAN Hannebery's 2020 campaign is hanging by a thread with his latest hamstring setback requiring surgery.
Attempting to return from the right hamstring strain he sustained in round five, the Saints midfielder injured the tendon on the same side while running at training on Friday.
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Defender Jimmy Webster has also strained a hamstring but will avoid surgery for an injury that likely cost him a month out of training.
Hannebery will depart the Saints' hub on the Sunshine Coast this week and return to Victoria to go under the knife.
Hamstring tendon surgery has typically resulted in an 8-12 week stint on the sidelines.
The remaining nine games of this year's home and away season are expected to come in seven to eight weeks.
Hannebery has played just 10 of a possible 30 games due to a string of soft-tissue setbacks since crossing from Sydney on a five-year deal at the end of 2018.
"We obviously feel for Dan who has put in so much work to get himself right and will now need to complete a lengthy program before returning to the field," Saints head of football David Rath said.
"Dan is a really important part of our group with his experience and leadership, and the way he can influence both at training and on game day. It's obviously a blow for him personally and for the team."
The 29-year-old played the first four matches this season before injuring his right hamstring in the second quarter of the round five win over Carlton.