Portland coach fears season-ending interleague injury for star recruit

PORTLAND coach Jake Myles fears star midfielder Jake Dignan’s season might be over after suffering a serious thumb injury in Hampden’s ill-fated interleague campaign.

Jake Dignan is under an injury cloud.

Jake Dignan is under an injury cloud.

The Tigers are sweating on medical reports later this week about the extent of damage but have conceded Dignan will be sidelined for a significant period.

Myles said Dignan was no chance to play against reigning premier Warrnambool on Saturday in a crucial round seven match at Hanlon Park.

“Season, I reckon,” Myles said yesterday. “The doctor reckons he has ruptured the tendon and that means surgery, but we haven’t got that confirmed yet.”

Dignan suffered the injury late in the third quarter of Saturday’s 125-point country championships loss to Ovens and Murray at Wangaratta.

Myles said Dignan went to mark but the ball was mis-kicked and an opponent swooped.

“He (the opponent) side-stepped and Digs stuck out a hand to tackle him and bent his thumb back,” Myles said.

“He got the footy and he just couldn’t hang on to it. He tried to play on but had to come off.” Dignan did not take the field in the final term.

“I think he will have to have surgery and you are out for at least four weeks. If we did make finals, maybe he could be back,” he said.

Dignan, in his first season with the Tigers after joining them from Palmerston in the Northern Territory, has been a revelation in the midfield, highlighted by his inclusion in the interleague side. He has given the Tigers plenty of drive and been named in their best four players five times in six games.

Myles said the fifth-placed Tigers were looking at making at least two changes to the side that was defeated by North Warrnambool Eagles by 46 points 10 days ago with key position player Nathan Haylock unavailable. 

The Tigers’ opponent Warrnambool is also looking at changes to its 21 that thumped Koroit by 70 points. Coach Scott Carter said the Blues were unlikely to have teenagers Tom Schnerring and Tom Ludeman, who played against the Saints when their TAC Cup side North Ballarat Rebels had a bye.

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