A major blow for Carlton's Simon White, with scans confirming he has suffered a fractured vertebrae in his neck.
White suffered the injury playing in Saturday's VFL match for the Northern Blues.
The 25-year-old will miss the rest of the AFL season, and will wear a brace spanning from his chest to his neck for the next eight weeks.
Carlton's General Manager of Football Andrew McKay says Club doctors will monitor White's progress.
"It's certainly not the news that we were hoping for. Simon has fractured his C3 vertebrae, meaning he won't play again this season."
It’s believed White felt a crunch in his neck when he was already on the ground, in the final quarter of Saturday’s match against Box Hill.
He trained with the Blues this week, but had scans on Tuesday after complaining of stiffness in his neck.
Carlton Coach Mick Malthouse says White is lucky the injury was not more serious.
“These are the sort of injuries we dread. Simon is semi-lucky I guess, as it could have been worse.”
"I think that sometimes we take it for granted that these strong young men are running around and nothing can happen to them."
Malthouse says the injury reinforces the importance of the AFL’s tough stance on high contact, and protecting the head and neck.
“It’s not a Mickey Mouse rule. It’s a rule that’s there for the safety of players.”
White had been in line for a recall to Carlton's senior side this week.
Instead, he'll be given time to head home to Western Australia, before beginning rehabilitation.
It's expected White will make a full recovery and will be back playing next year.