Hawthorn may have lit the flame for a 2017 revival with win over Melbourne on Sunday, but they are set to be without two crucial players for several weeks with Grant Birchall and Jaeger O’Meara both sidelined with knee injuries.
Birchall had missed four weeks with a broken jaw, but his return to the Hawks’ side was brief, as he injured his knee, believed to be a PCL, in a marking contest in the first quarter. Scans will indicate how long he will be sidelined for, but it is expected to be at least 4-6 weeks.
O’Meara, who had also missed a month of footy before returning last week, was named to play on Sunday but was a late withdrawal with knee problems. He is now expected to be given another month to get over the soreness which has plagued him. Given his previous issues with that type of injury, Hawks fans may be nervous.
Also sweating this week will be Western Bulldogs fans, with the extent of Jake Stringer’s knee injury to be revealed by scans.
Stringer suffered the injury during the third quarter of Saturday’s match against Richmond, with immediate fears he may have ruptured an ACL. The Bulldogs don’t believe that is the case but will know more by later on Monday.
Regardless, the 23-year-old will miss at least six weeks, while Josh Dunkley will also spend time on the sidelines after dislocating his shoulder. Again, he will have scans which will determine what the extent is and how long he will be out, but it could be 10-12 weeks.
A knee injury has ended the season of Giants defender Adam Kennedy, who will need a knee reconstruction after rupturing his ACL. It’s a bitter blow for Kennedy and the Giants, who are also set to be without Jacob Hopper for several weeks after he broke his finger in the defeat to the Saints.
Richmond could be without Nick Vlastuin for a couple of weeks after he suffered a shoulder injury in the loss to the Bulldogs. The injury will be further assessed this week, but he took no further part in the match after being injured in a tackle and could be a 10-week injury.
Two stars, Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood, emerged with injuries of concern from Gold Coast’s shock win over Geelong on Saturday.
Ablett nursed a sore shoulder while playing through the second half after a heavy tackle from Patrick Dangerfield. While he still had an impact, he was clearly affected by soreness and will be assessed this week.
Similarly, Selwood returned to the field after rolling his ankle in the third quarter, but was below his usual best.
North Melbourne forward Ben Brown should be fine to front up for the Kangaroos in this week’s match against Sydney despite having his shoulder strapped after a collision with Jack Ziebell. Team-mate Corey Wagner is set to miss after suffering an ankle injury.
Adelaide’s Tom Lynch and GWS’s Nathan Wilson will be both be assessed for concussion during the week, while Brisbane’s Mitch Robinson. Collingwood’s Mason Cox and Port Adelaide’s Paddy Ryder all suffered minor ankle injuries but are expected to be fine to play this week.