Mitch Hannan during Footscray's VFL clash with North Melbourne in round 20, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

WESTERN Bulldogs forward Mitch Hannan will be sidelined for up to 12 months after tearing his Achilles tendon in the VFL on the weekend. 

Hannan underwent surgery on Saturday after being taken to hospital from ETU Stadium in Port Melbourne following the incident. 

The 29-year-old is understood to have been running in space when his Achilles ruptured without warning against North Melbourne's reserves.

Hannan now faces a long rehabilitation program of between nine to 12 months to fully recover from such a challenging injury.

The former Demon has endured a frustrating injury run across the past 18 months, managing only seven senior appearances in 2022 due to persistent concussion symptoms, before adding six more games across 2023. 


Hannan was recruited by Melbourne out of Footscray as a 22-year-old with pick No. 47 in the 2016 AFL Draft after starring for St Bernard's in the VAFA before carrying that form to VFL level. 

The Gisborne product played 50 games across four seasons in red and blue before moving to the Whitten Oval at the end of 2020, where he has added 30 appearances including the 2021 Grand Final. 

Hannan is out-of-contract at the end of October and now faces an unknown future, much like teammate Josh Bruce, who tore his anterior cruciate last month and doesn't have a contract for 2024. 


The Western Bulldogs kept the chasing pack at bay by defeating Richmond by 55 points last Friday night to move up to sixth on the ladder with three rounds to play ahead of September. 

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge is expected to regain Alex Keath this Sunday's fixture against Hawthorn at University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston. 

The key defender still needs to exit concussion protocols after being ruled out of the clash against the Tigers, but is on track to return. 

Ryan Gardner is no certainty to make the trip to the Apple Isle after missing the win over the Tigers due to injury.