MATCH-WINNING midfielder Luke Mahony’s season is over in a big blow for top side Camperdown.
The 20-year-old, who starred in the Magpies’ win in round five over Warrnambool and was brilliant early the following week against Cobden before suffering a knee injury, will have a knee reconstruction on Friday.
Mahony, who visited a surgeon yesterday, told The Standard the results of MRI scans had shown he had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and cartilage.
He had hoped to avoid a reconstruction but the damage meant he would miss the rest of the season and more than likely delay his 2013 campaign.
“I haven’t damaged the medial, which is good,” he said.
“It means 12 months out but I would like to get back sooner. I reckon I could get back earlier but it depends on how it goes.”
Mahony, who played with the Geelong Falcons TAC Cup side in 2010 and 2011, said he was enjoying an injury-free start to the season, having played only 11 games last year because of shoulder problems.
“I don’t know what I’ve done to have this run,” he said of his bad luck. “I had a bit of a slow start coming back to country footy from the TAC Cup. I was having trouble adapting. South Warrnambool (round four) was my first good game and then Warrnambool and Cobden.”
But Mahony is maintaining a positive outlook, agreeing to take on a match-day midfield analysis role for coach Bernard Moloney.
He doubts he will be able to carry out those duties for Saturday’s showdown with Koroit at Victoria Park, having to stay in hospital overnight.
“I want to,” he said of getting to Saturday’s match between the first and fourth-placed sides.
Coach Bernard Moloney said he was disappointed for Mahony.
“He’s a big loss,” he said.
“He’s been pretty strong about it. That’s footy and you just have to get on with it and move on.”
Moloney said Mahony would work with midfield experts Sam Chapman and Ash Sinnott in giving midfielders individual feedback throughout games.
While Mahony’s loss is a blow for the Magpies, Saturday’s opponent Koroit got some good news from the medical room.
Saints coach Chris McLaren is a chance to play again this season after tearing his ACL off the bone in Koroit’s round four loss to Terang Mortlake.
The 33-year-old key defender had arthroscopic surgery to clean up the injury and had been told to prepare for a reconstruction. But after his latest visit to the surgeon, he was told there was a slight crack in his tibia but the ligament was intact.
“It means there is a chance I will play this season, but it doesn’t mean I will,” McLaren said.
“It’s better than the no chance I had.”
McLaren said his rehabiltation would be crucial and there was a possibility he could play a few games late in the season.
“Everything has to go right,” he said.
McLaren said he would not rush back too soon.
“I will get a better idea in three or four weeks. The surgeon said ‘you should be jogging or running in straight lines in three or four weeks’,” he said.
He said he felt for a young player like Mahony, who would be sidelined.
“I’ve been lucky I guess. There’s always someone out there worse off than you,” he said.