Young midfielder Rory Atkins will be sidelined for up to three months after suffering a knee injury.

Atkins, 20, damaged the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee at training and will wear a brace for several weeks.

Head of Football David Noble said it was disappointing given Atkins had been impressive at training over the summer months.

“Rory has relished the hard work put in front of him and I am sure he will apply that same attitude to his rehabilitation,” Noble said.

Atkins was recruited with pick No.81 in the 2012 AFL National Draft.

The skilful left-footer was on the cusp of an AFL debut last year, selected as an emergency twice. He averaged 19 possessions at 80 per cent efficiency in the SANFL and finished sixth in the team’s best and fairest.