Up-and-coming Essendon forward Jaiden Hunter, who has links to Albany, is likely to miss the entire 2024 AFL season after rupturing his ACL during training on Tuesday. The mature-aged draftee has spent plenty of time in Albany over the past few years, with his mother Toni Hunter and brother Matt Lehaney living and working here since 2015. Hunter already missed the back half of last year with stress fractures and a hot spot in his back after he was drafted in the 2023 Mid-Season Rookie Draft with pick No.9. It has been reported that the injury-ravaged 21-year-old hurt his knee in an innocuous marking contest during a match simulation. Hunter entered the mid-season draft in scintillating form kicking 23 goals in seven matches for Perth in the WAFL, including two bags of five. After he was drafted to the Dons, the 196cm forward booted a goal on debut for Essendon’s VFL side. He then backed it up with four majors in the following match before being sidelined for the remainder of the year with back issues.