Bayley Fritsch on crutches after Melbourne's loss to GWS in round 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE'S leading goalkicker Bayley Fritsch could miss the rest of the home and away season after having surgery on a fractured foot.

Fritsch suffered the injury in early in Sunday's loss to Greater Western Sydney in Alice Springs, and was immediately subbed out of the game. 

Scans revealed the 26-year-old had broken his foot and club doctor Laura Lallenec said he was expected to miss seven to eight weeks. 


"You would have seen he had a little bit of a roll of his ankle and that has resulted in a fracture in his foot," Lallenec said.

"He actually underwent surgery this morning and that's gone really well.

"The plan at this stage is to let him recover after his surgery and then building back up to playing.  

"We're expecting a return to play of approximately seven to eight weeks at this stage, but we'll see how he goes."

Fritsch has been a near-constant presence in the Demons' side since debuting in round one, 2018. He has played 123 of a possible 127 games, booting 202 goals including season hauls of 55 in 2022 and 59 in 2021. 

Bayley Fritsch celebrates a goal with Charlie Spargo in Melbourne's win over Collingwood in round 13, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Meanwhile, superstar midfielder Clayton Oliver (hamstring) is a chance to play his first game since round 10 after rejoining main training ahead of Saturday night's clash with St Kilda. 

Oliver played out the loss to Port Adelaide in round 10 after straining his hamstring and was expected to return against Collingwood in round 13, only to contract an infection that put him in hospital for five days, complicating his recovery. 


"He's going well, returning to training this week,” Lallenec said of Oliver. 

"He'll continue to progress. He's still got some things to tick off in his rehab and we should know later this week whether he's available this weekend." 

Michael Hibberd (lacerated kidney) won't be available to face the Saints but he is on track to play against Brisbane in round 18.