The 24-year-old hyperextended his right knee during the first half of Adelaide’s JLT Community Series opener, a loss to Richmond on Friday night.
The injury was initially dismissed as minor, however scans have since revealed a ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament, which will require a knee reconstruction.
It’s a massive setback not just for Ellis-Yolmen, who was set to emerge in the Crows’ engine-room this season, but for the club itself, which traded away flourishing talent Jarryd Lyons and failed to land Carlton star Bryce Gibbs in the off-season.
Ellis-Yolmen has played 14 games for the Crows since being recruited with pick 64 in the 2011 draft, but only forced his way into the side twice last year, despite consistently-strong SANFL form.
Crows Head of Football Brett Burton said the injury news was “really disappointing for both Cam and the club”.
“We were excited about him pushing his claims for Round One selection,” Burton said.
“We will consult a specialist this week with the view to Cam having surgery, which will unfortunately rule him out for the season [but] I have no doubt Cam will be diligent in his rehabilitation and we look forward to supporting him through that process.”
The Crows midfield is seen as an Achilles heel since the departure of Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield to Geelong a year ago. Already this preseason, leading lights Rory Sloane, Scott Thompson and Brad Crouch have suffered injury setbacks, although all are expected to be in the mix for Round One.
Meanwhile, Port Adelaide’s Nathan Krakouer will miss the season’s opening round after today accepting a one-match ban from the AFL’s match review panel.
Krakouer, who is expected to provide a forward target this season, pleaded guilty to a rough conduct charge after Port’s one-point loss to St Kilda on Thursday.
He will sit out the Power’s season opener against Sydney, but can still play out the remainder of the JLT Community Series.
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