Ageing Brisbane Lions champion Simon Black will have his pre-season put on hold for at least six weeks after undergoing minor knee surgery on Tuesday.
Black had hoped to spend the entire summer on the training track but was booked in for a clean-up to ensure his availability for the opening round of 2013.
The 33-year-old midfielder is not expected to return to running duties until late January.
"Simon's knee issue from last season settled during the break. However, when the boys returned for pre-season training, he felt a minor irritation return," Lions football manager Dean Warren said.
"To ensure that Simon was right for the commencement of the 2013 season it was decided that we get it cleaned up immediately."
Black, a triple premiership player and Brownlow and Norm Smith Medallist, considered retiring at the end of last season but signed a one-year contract extension.
The Lions open their 2013 season with an away game against the Western Bulldogs in Melbourne on March 30.