Carlton co-captain Sam Docherty has come to grips with the disappointing realisation he will miss another AFL season as he recovers from a knee reconstruction.
Docherty missed the entire 2018 season after he ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a pre-season training drill.
He suffered the injury again in the last drill of Monday's training session at Ikon Park and will go under the surgeon's knife for the same procedure next Monday.
"I'm pretty flat, but it is what it is," Docherty said.
"I'm at a stage where I've accepted what's happened, I'm ready to move on and get my surgery and rehab started.
"I'm looking forward to punching that out and getting back as soon as I can.
"My phone hasn't stopped for two days now. Most people from the club have given me a text or a call.
"I've had ex-players, ex-coaches, ex-football staff and players from other teams plus the numerous Carlton supporters out there. My social media hasn't stopped -- I'm definitely feeling the love and support."
A return late next season is not out of the question - Collingwood's Tyson Goldsack made it back for the Pies' finals series after rupturing an ACL in March - but the Blues are likely to take a conservative approach.
The 25-year-old, who was only recently named co-captain along side young star Patrick Cripps, is intent on helping the team next year even if he's not on the field.
"One of my points when I did it last year is I still have a role to play in this football club," he said.
"As a leader and a captain, it doesn't change because I'm off the track."
Australian Associated Press