Luckless Gold Coast defender Connor Budarick's 2022 AFL season is over with the Suns confirming the 21-year-old suffered an ACL injury during last Saturday's loss to Collingwood.
Budarick went down after a one-on-one marking contest in the fourth quarter of the five-point loss to the Magpies before being helped off the field.
Scans have confirmed Budarick has suffered a rupture of the ACL in his right knee, the same injury he suffered in round two of the 2021 season.
"We're all behind Connor as he begins his recovery and we know he will attack his rehab with full conviction as he has done in the past," Suns' head physio Lindsay Bull said.
After signing a three-year contract extension in April, the Suns academy product returned to the AFL later that month for the Queensland derby against Brisbane.
The Magpies' match was his ninth game of the season and came after he'd only just recovered from a hamstring injury.
Budarick joins an increasing injury list of Suns' defenders with Wil Powell (ankle) and Lachie Weller (knee) already sidelined for the season.
Suns coach Stuart Dew will be hoping Jy Farrar will be able to return for this Saturday's clash against Richmond having missed the Collingwood game due to the AFL's health and safety protocols.
The Suns are also assessing the fitness of small forward Ben Ainsworth after he suffered an ankle injury late against the Magpies in the same marking contest that forced Collingwood star Darcy Moore off the field on a stretcher with a knee injury.
Jack Lukosius is also set to train fully with the team this week after making a successful comeback from a PCL injury in the VFL last weekend.