Lions defender Ryan Harwood and young forward Jono Freeman will spend extended stints on the sideline with injury.

But the Club received good news late this week with star Daniel Rich given the final all-clear on his knee by his Melbourne surgeon.

Rich has been a standout in preseason, running and kicking freely after a flawless rehab from knee surgery after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in round three last season.

The news is not as good for Harwood, who will have surgery on Monday to address abdominal and groin pain that has emerged in recent weeks.

Recovery time is uncertain until after the operation but it’s expected to be in the range of 8-12 weeks.

Freeman underwent back surgery on Thursday night, a microdiscectomy on a bulging disc, and is expected to spend 12 weeks getting back to full fitness.

Lions General Manager, Football Operation, Dean Warren, said surgery was the best option for Harwood and Freeman.

“Both Ryan and Jono were disappointed at having to spend time away from the game but we have to do what is best for the players,” said Warren.

“They will both come back stronger and the result will be in the best interest of their long-term careers."

For updates on Harwood and Freeman's recovery, go to the regular Bupa Recovery Reports at the Bupa Health Centre on