23-02-2004, 09:43 PM
Whilst those teams in the the three football codes that have suffered serious pre-season injuries will beg to differ, this pre-season has been remarkable to date in its lack of season-ending injuries. In Super 12, the Queensland Reds have lost Julian Huxley for an extended period with a broken jaw and have Fletcher Dyson facing retirement with a recurrence of a neck injury. The only pre-season anterior cruciate ligament injury notified in the NRL to date has been South Sydney's Mark Meredith. In the AFL, Geelong have lost Steven King for the first half of the season after Achilles surgery. Hawthorn are relived to have 'dodged a bullet' with an MRI scan showing Jonathan Hay has avoided anterior cruciate ligament damage, after hyperextending his knee landing from a marking contest in Launceston in an internal trial match. He will now be out for 6 weeks. Read more at AFL.com and at Foxsports. Port Power's Josh Francou re-injured his knee anterior cruciate ligament graft at training in late January. He has had a revision ACL reconstruction and is now out for the entire 2004 AFL season. This scenario is a terrible sense of deja vu for the Power, who lost Michael Wilson for the best part of two seasons when he also re-injured his graft at training in January. Because Francou was injured very early in 2004 there is no question that should have waited longer to progress to full training (he would have been 10 months post-surgery at the time of re-injury), read more about this dilemma. He would have been at risk both from the viewpoint of having had previous surgery and training on an early-season surface (read a .pdf scientific paper about the risks).