MELBOURNE is the latest club to be struck by the knee curse, with forward Ainslie Kemp to miss the 2018 NAB AFL Women's season after a training mishap.

A regular in the team's run to third on the ladder last season, Kemp ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in a frustratingly innocuous incident.

The strong-marking forward felt the knee buckle as she changed direction in a skills drill and immediately told training staff that she feared the worse.

Scans confirmed the ACL damage and she will have surgery on Thursday to repair the ligament.

The club said Kemp, who turns 21 in March, is resigned to missing the new season, but remains upbeat to tackle the long rehabilitation program and be ready for next year.

Under AFLW rules, Melbourne will be permitted to elevate one of its three rookies to the primary player list as Kemp's replacement for this season.

That decision will be made closer to the first game against Greater Western Sydney on February 3.

Kemp became a regular in the Demons' team after a slow start to the inaugural AFLW season.

She then had a solid season with VFL Women's competition club Western Spurs last winter after recovering from a stress-related injury.

The fitter and faster forward was primed to make an even bigger impact in 2018 with her outstanding pre-season form before the training accident.