WESTERN Bulldogs defender Hayden Crozier will miss the first two months of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
The important intercept backman suffered the AC joint injury in Monday’s AAMI Community Series win over Melbourne.
The club confirmed Crozier's bad news on Thursday.
"The surgery went well and we’ll concrete his timeframe for return in the next couple of days," the Bulldogs' head of medical services, Chris Bell, said.
"But expect Hayden to miss the next six to eight weeks of footy."
The news was more positive for tall forward Aaron Naughton (arm) and speedy utility Laitham Vandermeer (hip) who were pulled from the game against Melbourne early.
Both are expected to be available for round one. Scans showed Naughton avoided any significant damage after copping a knee to his forearm in a contest.
“We didn’t want to take any risks with Laitham, so we pulled him out of the game,” Bell said.
“He’ll come back into full training over the next couple of days and put his hand up for selection in round one.
“Aaron sustained a heavy hit to his forearm from an opposition knee.
“We took him out of the game and sent him for scans, which have cleared any bone damage.”