THE CARLTON Football Club can confirm that midfielder Sam Walsh last night underwent surgery to have a micro-discectomy procedure in his back.

This surgery involves the removal of a bulging disc portion to relieve pressure on a nerve, which will see Walsh ruled out for the start of the 2023 AFL season.

Over a number of months, the Club had worked closely with specialists to explore every possible conservative measure of treatment.

However, further specialist consultation confirmed surgery was now the best course of action to ensure Walsh made a full recovery.

Head of Football Brad Lloyd outlined the process for the midfielder’s recovery.

“Throughout the last few months our number one priority has been for Sam’s wellbeing in managing this issue, which is why we explored every possible conservative treatment option.

“Following this extensive process, it was clear that given all alternative treatments had not progressed his recovery, surgery was the required option to correct the issue.

“Sam is now recovering after undergoing surgery last night and will commence his rehabilitation in the New Year.

“While Sam’s professionalism and resilience is well-known, we will absolutely give Sam all the time he needs to make a full recovery before he returns to the side during the season.

“Due to the long-term nature of this rehabilitation, it isn’t possible to confirm a set date for his return right now. Once the opening month of the season has been completed though, we expect to be able to provide more clarity on his expected return to play.”