The Brisbane Lions have suffered a giant blow in their AFL premiership aspirations with Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale to undergo ankle surgery.
Neale hurt his right ankle during a contest in the Lions' 18-point win against Carlton at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.
The 27-year-old played out the game under duress, but the club confirmed on Sunday night that he would need an operation.
In a brief statement, the Lions said details about how long the star midfielder would be out were to be confirmed at a later time.
Neale has been well below his stunning Brownlow medal-winning form of 2020 this season but remains one of the AFL's elite player.
He was also fined for contact with an umpire during the win over the Blues.
Touted as premiership contenders again this season, the Lions have won their last two games to recover to a 3-3 record after an underwhelming opening to 2021.