Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands will spend a large chunk of the season on the sidelines with a 'turf toe' injury for the second successive year.
Sandilands who played just one match from Round 9 to Round 21 in 2011 with the same problem has again been struck down by the injury to his right foot, which is a sprain to the ligaments around the joint of the big toe.
The injury is to the opposite foot he hurt last season.
The 29-year-old was substituted in the early stages of Fremantle's 12-point win over Richmond at the MCG on Saturday afternoon and had scans on his foot a day later.
And Fremantle confirmed on Monday that Sandilands would miss up to 10 weeks with the problem.
"It's very disappointing for Aaron, the club and our members and supporters," Fremantle's general manager of football operations, Chris Bond, said.
"But as is always the case in these situations, it provides a great opportunity for other players in the group to step up and take on the challenge created by Aaron's absence."
A specialist will be consulted to see if Sandilands requires surgery, with the big man not required to do so in 2011.
The news is a blow to Fremantle's finals hopes, with the three-time All Australian one of the best ruckmen in the game.
In other injury news for the Dockers, Bond confirmed that key defender Zac Dawson would miss up to a fortnight after straining the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Saturday's match.Midfielder Stephen Hill will have his strained left ankle tested, but given the Dockers have the bye this week, should be available to take on Essendon at Patersons Stadium on June 23 but small forward Hayden Balantyne may miss after being cited by the match review panel for a level two striking offence against Richmond's Chris Newman.