By Luke Voogt
Key midfielder Mitch Duncan will miss several weeks after injuring his right knee in the Cats’ thrilling win against the Western Bulldogs last Friday.
The Cats subbed Duncan out of the game after he injured his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) landing awkwardly in a marking contest during the first quarter.
“We were expecting that the injury was to Mitch’s PCL, and the scan confirmed that,” Geelong Cats football general manager Simon Lloyd said.
“There was no other damage to Mitch’s knee. The rehabilitation timelines will be further discussed with our medical and fitness team in consultation with specialists.
“We will explore all available options that will allow Mitch to return as quickly and safely as possible.”
A player typically misses between four and 12 weeks for a PCL, depending on the grade of the injury, and provided it does not require surgery, according to the AFL.
Teammate Tom Hawkins indicated Duncan’s injury was high-grade, meaning he would miss at least two months.
“I saw Mitch this morning, he seemed to think his scan came back and it was a high-grade PCL, so Mitch’s going to miss some footy unfortunately,” Hawkins told Triple M.
Duncan had averaged 23.7 disposals at 77.6 per cent efficiency in yet another consistent – albeit injury-plagued – season.
The 30-year-old missed the first two games of the season with a calf strain and another match after suffering a concussion against Gold Coast in round 10.
“He’s had a wretched run the last 18 months so that’s eight to 10 weeks I think, but every individual is different,” Hawkins said.
An eight-week recovery would mean Duncan would return for Geelong’s last two games, including a crucial round 23 clash with ladder-leader Melbourne, while a 10-week recovery would allow him to return for the finals.
“He’s really important for us, Mitch, so hopefully he gets back soon,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins himself suffered a neck injury, which he played through until the end of the Cats’ thrilling five-point win, sealed by Gary Rohan’s after-the-siren goal.
“I should be right, I think it’s one of those things that should settle down in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Hawkins said.
Meanwhile, captain Joel Selwood was fined over two separate incidents in the Cats’ win.
He was charged with misconduct for hitting and scraping Bailey Dale’s head and face during a scrimmage in the first quarter.
He was also charged with engaging in rough conduct for scraping Taylor Duryea’s shin with his studs as he moved to stand the mark, after appearing to unintentionally poke Duryea in the eye.
With an early plea Selwood faces a fine of $1000 for the first incident and $2000 for the second.