The scan came just days after Ellis said the gelding had been in only light training due to body soreness following a pair of half-mile workouts in late August.
"He was never lame and there wasn't ever any swelling," Ellis said. "But he'd start out (training) a little stiff and didn't warm up right. He always worked out of it and there wasn't ever anything on the X-rays, but nuke scans never lie and that's what it found.
"It's not a fracture or anything, but all my vets are calling it a weakening of the bone. (Dr.) Wayne McIlwraith is going to look (at the scan), but it looks like he's going to have about two more months off. He'll stay in the barn and walk every day."
Undefeated Declan's Moon was at the top of the sophomore division earlier this year after completing a 2004 season that included three graded stakes win in four starts and being honored with the Eclipse Award as the nation's top 2-year-old colt or gelding. He won his only start at 3, taking the 1 1/16-mile Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita in early March.
Just days after his lone 2005 start, however, the Maryland-bred son of Malibu Moon was diagnosed with a chip in his left knee and subsequently underwent surgery, which has kept him out of action since. Back in light training since early summer, this most recent setback has pushed back his probable return to the races until at least early 2006.
"The good news is that the old injury site didn't light up at all," Ellis said. "And he has no ligament damage whatsoever. We'll take some time and do some shock wave and electromagnetic therapy on him, and do a nuclear scan a month on him until (the injured area) is gone. The good news is that we caught it early, but he'll be on the shelf for at least the next two months."
From five starts overall, Declan's Moon has earned $627,300.