Suckling, 24, twisted his knee while playing in the Hawks' nail-biting one-point loss to Richmond in Launceston.
There will be no quick fix for Suckling, who played every game for the Hawks last season, with the backman set to miss likely the entire 2013 season, in which his side are favourites to win the coveted premiership.
Hawthorn football manager Mark Evans said the best course of action was traditional surgery, which certainly means a recovery period of around 12 months, instead of the far riskier but quicker LARS surgery.
"Our approach has always been what's the best outcome for the player, and in a young player where they've got plenty of their career left you'll always choose that option anyway," Evans told radio station SEN on Monday morning.
"We almost have to be led by the player to do something different. At this stage it seems that the traditional method would be the best.
"He's got a little bit of bone bruising and that will probably determine how fast he rehabs anyway (and) that has to be respected.
"The pleasing thing was the other structures in the knee, the other ligaments, are all pretty sound."
Evans said Suckling had accepted the gut-wrenching situation and was ready to face his work in recovery.
"He knows that he's got a bit ahead of him," Evans said.
"He's seen other people go through it - I think his sister might have even had a reconstructed knee, so he knows he just has to go and get on with it."
Knee problems have plagued the AFL's summer pre-season, with Suckling joining Sydney defender Alex Johnson and Fremantle youngster Anthony Morabito in having suffered the horror injury.
Morabito underwent the controversial LARS surgery, while Sydney are said to be considering the quick fix procedure for Johnson.