Demons hit by more injury woe

11 February 2021 19:57:41 GMTPlus11

Melbourne have been hit by the news Sam Weideman has suffered a stress fracture in his leg and will miss the early part of the 2021 AFL season.

The 23-year-old had been looking strong in pre-season training, but is now facing up to three months on the sidelines while he recovers from the issue, which has come out of the blue.

The news comes as another big setback for the Demons, following on from new recruit Ben Brown having to undergo surgery to fix some swelling on his knee.

Melbourne's football performance manager Alan Richardson says Weideman being ruled out is a setback but they are pleased to have picked up on the issue early on.

"It's disappointing news for Sam who has had a great pre-season to date," Richardson said.

"Following some soreness in his hip region, the medical team decided to conduct a scan, which has shown a stress fracture in his femur.

"We didn't expect to find anything this substantial, but it's better to get onto it now and prevent it from getting any worse.

"We will take a conservative approach and an exact return to play date will be determined by how Sam responds to the ongoing rehab program."

The injury situation does leave Melbourne with selection issues in the forward line, and it also presents an opportunity for Tom McDonald to step in and shine.

McDonald played just nine games, kicking seven goals, in 2020 and Melbourne will be hoping he can rediscover the form that saw him boot 53 in 2018.

Melbourne are priced at 25/1 to win the AFL grand final.

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