Popular Carlton forward Jack Silvagni will miss the 2024 AFL season after rupturing his ACL during a pre-season training session on Thursday.
It is a heartbreaking blow for the Blues favourite who had been hoping to establish himself as regular in the team this year after a challenging 2023.
Silvagni managed 16 games last year and was in out of the side due to form and injury issues.
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Carlton coach Michael Voss used Silvagni as a back-up ruck option but there was no guarantee the utility would keep his place in the 22 when both big men — Marc Pittonet and Tom De Koning — were available.
At one stage last season there was speculation that Silvagni — whose name is synonymous with the Blues after his grandfather and father both became decorated club icons — might find himself in different colours in 2024.
But the Blues did reward the 26-year-old with a two-year contract extension in September, tying him to the club until the end of 2025.
Jack Silvagni during a Carlton training session at Ikon Park in 2023. Credit: Getty Images
Following the training incident, Silvagni was immediately sent for scans where the extent of the injury was laid bare.
After 7NEWS AFL reporter Mitch Cleary revealed that Silvagni would be sidelined for the 2024 season, the club soon confirmed that surgery was imminent.
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“Jack had put in such a significant body of work over summer to put himself in a great position to attack the year, so we are all really feeling for Jack right now,” Carlton football manager Brad Lloyd said in a statement.
“While the emotion right now is one of disappointment, it is well known that Jack’s work ethic and commitment to the football club is unwavering, and it is his strong character that will be his biggest strength through his recovery process.
“We will be with him every step of the way through his rehab, and no doubt the entire Carlton faithful will be.
“With the energy he brings, he’ll continue to have a positive impact around the club and within the playing group throughout this season.”
Fans were also quick to react to the “cruel” blow.
“ACL tears during training are crueler than in-game. Very harsh,” one fan wrote.
While another said: “Poor Jack can’t take a trick.”
And another: “Hope his recovery goes well, such a cruel injury.”
Silvagni has played 115 senior games for the Blues since arriving there in 2015.
His 100th game was a significant milestone as it was the first time in AFL/VFL history that three generations of a family had played a century of games at the same club.