Crows' Burton set for knee surgery - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows' Burton set for knee surgery

By Daniel Brettig 15/07/2008 07:10:19 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide forward Brett Burton's career hangs by a thread as tenuous as the partially torn anterior cruciate ligament that snapped completely at the MCG on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Burton will undergo a traditional reconstruction on Wednesday after doctors decided his left knee did not possess enough of the healthy tissue to which an artificial ligament could be attached.

The procedure, successfully undertaken by Sydney's Nick Malceski earlier this year, would have taken Burton to fitness in a mere three months.

"We went down that path and with that surgery you need a fair few things to fall in place," Burton told radio station 5AA.

"Unfortunately, the condition of my knee, there wasn't enough healthy tissue to be able to attach the artificial graft to either end.

"We spoke to (Malceski's) doctor and we thought about doing an arthroscope last night to have a look at what tissue was there, but we had enough information on the scans to say we couldn't do it."

It means a recovery period of nine to 12 months and with Burton out of contract at year's end, he is all too aware Adelaide could decide not to risk retaining him in the last year before AFL expansion clubs monopolise the top end of the draft pool.

Remarkably upbeat and to the point about his future, Burton said he expected negotiations to begin within the next two to three weeks.

"I'm out of contract at the end of the year," he said.

"I've got to leave that to the footy club, all I can do is go and get the surgery and recover as quick as possible and those issues will pan out over the next few weeks and we'll have those discussions with the footy club.

"The club will have to do their list management and look at their list moving forward and assess the risk of whether they're prepared to take on a 30-year-old, I'll be 31 when my leg's right.

"I'd think if I hadn't had the injury we'd have negotiated the contract anyway towards the end of the year, they may bring that forward, but probably the next couple of weeks."

Burton revealed that Saturday's injury had been a possible scenario at the back of his mind ever since he suffered a partial tear of the same ligament in 2000, the second year of his high-flying AFL tenure.

"Unfortunately my sprigs gripped into the ground and then I saw the ball change direction so I changed direction and it just buckled," he said.

"You could feel the shift in the knee and the buckling so I knew straight away."

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