In the countdown to the first football match of 2012, the Eagles have been dealt a crushing blow. Mercurial forward Mark LeCras has been sidelined indefinitely with a tear to the ACL in his right knee.

The incident occurred yesterday during training, not long after LeCras was announced in the side to take on cross-town rivals Fremantle this Sunday. The Eagles will now be faced with the option of a traditional ACL repair or the artificial LARS surgery. The LARS surgery could see LeCras return as early as round 8, but research is yet to shed light on the long-term benefits and risks of the LARS procedure.

More to follow.