Collingwood's Rocca to miss two months - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Collingwood's Rocca to miss two months

23/06/2008 07:04:12 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood deny they took an unnecessary risk in playing Anthony Rocca despite the star forward breaking down just three quarters into his AFL comeback and facing possible season-ending surgery.

The Magpies say Rocca will be sidelined for the next two months, but insist the latest injury to his troublesome right ankle is not career-threatening.

Magpies football manager Geoff Walsh said Rocca would have surgery on Tuesday to have a pin inserted in his troublesome right ankle.

Rocca, who has missed several weeks through ankle soreness, was not initially named in the Magpies side beaten by the Western Bulldogs on Sudnay night.

But defender Shane Wakelin's late withdrawal with illness resulted in the Magpies giving Rocca a surprise 11th hour call-up.

It was a move which backfired spectacularly when Rocca hobbled off in the third term with what was revealed on Monday as a new crack in the ankle he had surgery on late last year.

Walsh insisted playing Rocca was a decision made on the best medical advice, and described as "mischievous", questioning about whether the Magpies had rushed the player back without being fully fit.

"Both in the medical staff's opinion and his own he was right to play and keen to play, so all the boxes were ticked," Walsh said.

"During the week he was always keen. But when the team was selected ... on balance given the structure of the team, we thought we won't put Anthony in.

"But when the spot came up, the medical clearance was there. We certainly didn't make the selection knowing that we were rolling the dice."

Rocca would need to heal in best-case scenario time to figure again in the home-and-away season - though Collingwood are a big chance of playing finals, widening his 2008 window.

But his latest setback on an often-injured leg has again raised questions about whether Rocca, who turns 31 in August, is at the crossroads of his career.

"It's in the same vicinity (as the last crack) ... it's the same leg and the same foot he had his Achilles injury in a few years back," Walsh said.

"He's a big man, he's a power athlete, his game revolves around jumping.

"It's a bit hard to answer (whether there could be an ongoing weakness in the foot).

"The thing we go on is the surgeon says it will repair fine.

"It'll heal perfectly. It's not career-threatening."

Young Magpies key forward Ben Reid is also expected to be sidelined for the next two months with a broken bone in his foot, also sustained in Sunday night's match.

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