Connor Budarick comes off the field during the R16 clash between Gold Coast and Collingwood at Heritage Bank Stadium on July 2, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

GOLD Coast has confirmed young defender Connor Budarick has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee for the second time.

Budarick suffered the injury late in Saturday night's loss to Collingwood and scans late on Monday afternoon confirmed the worst outcome.

The 21-year-old Suns Academy graduate suffered the same injury against North Melbourne in round two, 2021 and had played nine senior games in his return this season.

'MAKE MYSELF BETTER' Optimistic Budarick on his return from first ACL 

He will now undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the season, with the hope of returning in the middle of next year.

Connor Budarick handballs for Gold Coast against Brisbane in round six, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Coach Stuart Dew feared the worst less than an hour after the incident.

"We feel for Connor because he's worked so hard, he's an important member of our side," Dew said in Saturday night's post-game press conference.

"He's young. He's got a big future ahead of him. He'll fight back. He's a fighter."

Ben Ainsworth suffered an ankle injury in the same match and will be tested during the week.