The AFL community was heartbroken on Monday night when Cam Rayner — tipped by many to join the competition’s elite in 2021 — likely had his season ruined by a suspected ACL tear.
Rayner went crashing to the Metricon Stadium turf in the second quarter of Brisbane’s 28-point win over Gold Coast in the AAMI Community Series pre-season clash and the early diagnosis from Lions medical staff is that he will require a knee reconstruction.
It comes after a brutal pre-season which saw Eagles recruit Zac Langdon badly concussed
and a host of other players go down in brutal contests.
Rayner, the 2017 No. 1 draft pick, will have scans on Tuesday to assess the extent of the damage but Brisbane is fearing the worst after Rayner’s foot went the opposite direction to his leg and he writhed in pain on the ground.
He was immediately assessed and was visibly upset before returning to the bench with his knee heavily iced.
Cam Rayner is helped from the field after injuring his knee. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
The Lions trailed by 29 points late in the second term against a fierce Suns but Brisbane kicked the next 11 goals to cruise home with the Rayner injury putting a major dampener on the win given his eye-catching pre-season had him ready to launch to a new level in 2021.
Fagan said the club as a whole was “sad” about Rayner’s fate but his teammates could dedicate their campaign to the much-loved midfielder/forward who rises to the big occasions.
“They’ll be super disappointed for him, there’s no doubt about that but in another way, they’ll probably be inspired to rise to another level,’’ Fagan said.
“He is a good man, a very popular teammate. He’s the first guy when someone is a bit down … he’s the first one to them to pick them up and dust them off and encourage them so we’ll be doing plenty of that over the next few weeks.
Sight of Rayner distraught and grabbing a knee is heartbreaking Just shit on so many levels.
Cam Rayner’s knee injury just makes me so sad 😞 #sayitaintso
Replay suggests needs a miracle to play this [email protected]
Suspected ACL for Cam Rayner. That sucks 😭
“I know he’ll be trying to find a way to influence the group.
“It’s not great … I saw it happen, I thought that’s an ACL. That’s what our physios think, obviously we have to get scans and all that done but that’s the way it’s looking at this time which is a real pity.
“I reckon he was about to take off, Cam Rayner, as a player. He’s had such a good pre-season. So, it’s disappointing for him that this has happened.
“It will build his character though. I know he’ll still continue to lead around our footy club. He’ll try and find a way to make the most of this opportunity.’’
Cam Rayner hides his face as reality hits. (Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Fagan said the way Brisbane bounced back from a dismal first half was encouraging with the Swans awaiting the Lions in Round 1.
“It’s probably something that we haven’t really done as a team a great deal, the last four years. We talked about the opportunity to do that at halftime … we still wanted to try and win the second half because we were really poor in the first half and they were really good,’’ he said.
“They attacked the footy, they hunted in packs, their speed was up so it was good to have that conversation. I thought some of our leaders really stood up in that third quarter like (Dayne) Zorko, Lachie Neale, they all stepped it up and the game turned on its ear pretty quickly.”
Gold Coast senior coach Stuart Dew said his side was blown off the park after halftime but declared that second-year sensation Matt Rowell was a certain starter for Round 1.
“He’s good to go (for round one). We were able to manage his minutes … he felt really good,’’ Dew said.
“By his own accord he thought he was a bit rusty, but he’s a hard marker on himself, last week. He’s always been on track for this position and it’s good to have him back.
“We dropped away, no doubt. First half, we controlled the ball and in the end we probably wasted opportunities. In the third quarter there was a barrage. We let them in … it was polar opposites.”
Source: Read Full Article