The Carlton Football Club can confirm that ruckman Tom De Koning has sustained a low-level stress reaction to his back.

Head of Football Brad Lloyd said the 21-year-old is expected to miss the start of the 2021 AFL season.

“Given the nature of this type of injury, we suspect Tom will miss the first few games of the season to allow his body to rest and recover accordingly. We expect at that point that Tom will then be available for selection.”