Melbourne have been dealt a hammer blow just three weeks into the season with Max Gawn, the dominant ruckman in the game, set to miss three months after he suffered tendon damage when injuring his hamstring in Saturday’s loss to Geelong.
Gawn was All Australian ruckman last year, averaging 42 hitouts and playing a major role in the
Demons’ revival. Their hopes of making the finals this season rely heavily on Gawn’s ability to give their emerging midfield first use of the ball.
But Melbourne will have to learn to do without him until at least halfway through the season, if not longer as he will undergo surgery on the injury.
Gawn’s absence will cause a fair degree of havoc in the fantasy footy world as well as he is the first ruckman chosen regardless of the format you play.
Gawn’s absence will give Jake Spencer the opportunity to make an impression having played just 36 games since he was drafted to the Demons as rookie in 2008.
A similar hamstring injury suffered in Saturday’s Showdown could sidelined Adelaide’s Mitch McGovern for an extended period.
The extent of McGovern’s injury is not fully known but if the hamstring injury is serious enough to see him also undergo surgery, that would mean a similar 10-12 week spell.
The unbeaten Crows are hoping to get back Josh Jenkins for this week’s match against Essendon after he was a late withdrawal from the win over Port Adelaide with bruised ribs.
Greater Western Sydney midfielder Ryan Griffen is expected to miss at least one or two weeks after a high grade ankle sprain suffered in the win over North Melbourne.
Griffen will be assessed but he is unlikely to play against Port Adelaide.
Defender Phil Davis is also a doubt for that match after injuring the AC joint on his shoulder against the Kangaroos.
Port will be likely be without Paddy Ryder after he was offered a one-match ban for striking Riley Knight, clearing the way for Matthew Lobbe to return to the Port side.
The first ever Good Friday game between North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs is unlikely to feature Bulldog Liam Picken after the experienced utility was knocked out in the loss to Fremantle on Saturday night. He’ll be assessed, but may have to sit a week out.
It’s a similar story for Richmond’s Nick Vlaustin after he was dazed in the Tigers’ win over West Coast. Richmond travel to Brisbane to play the Lions and Vlaustin will be monitored.
Another player who received a heavy knock was Jacob Weitering, but the Carlton young gun should be right to p[lay against the Gold Coast this week having returned to the field in the win over the Bombers.
Hawthorn are bottom of the ladder and have some fitness worried to go with their form slump. Paul Puopolo had some hamstring tightness in the loss to the Gold Coast. He will be monitored ahead of the Easter Monday game against Geelong, but has the advantage of nine days between games.