Gary Ablett will miss the remainder of the season after opting to have surgery on the shoulder he injured during Saturday's win over Collingwood, The Age reports.
Gold Coast captain Ablett, who was odds on favourite to win this years Brownlow, will play no further part in a campaign which sees Gold Coast currently sitting eighth on the ladder and in with a strong chance of playing in its first finals.
The loss of Ablett, ranked as the number one player in the competition, will leave a huge hole in the young franchise's side and coach Guy McKenna will be hoping his rising stars can rally round in their skipper's absence.
With a predicted current lead in the voting, the two-time Brownlow medallist still has a slim chance of winning the honour he took home last season, with votes based on a 3-2-1 system after each game.
Josh Kennedy, Joel Selwood, Lance Franklin and Scott Pendlebury will now be amongst the frontrunners as Ablett's injury throws Brownlow chances wide open.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU