Hunter Clark has avoided surgery to repair a fracture to his orbital bone, however has entered concussion protocols after receiving a stray elbow to the face during Friday’s match simulation.

Clark immediately left the field following the collision and underwent an initial concussion test, with scans later confirming the facial fracture.

The latest setback is likely to put the midfielder on the sidelines for approximately two weeks, but will be monitored for any concussion symptoms which may develop.

“We’re disappointed for Hunter, but are hopeful of a swift recovery,” Executive General Manager of Football David Misson said.

“As is always the case with any concussion-related setback, we will take a cautious approach with Hunter and will continue to monitor his progress.

“Hunter has had some terrible luck with numerous setbacks over the past few seasons, however we are backing him in to bounce back in time for Round 1.

“Hunter has put together a strong body of work over the past few weeks and has impressed through the midfield this pre-season, so we hope this is just a small bump in the road heading into 2024.”