Injury threatens Hunter's AFL career - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Injury threatens Hunter's AFL career

By Justin Chadwick 25/08/2009 05:31:02 PM Comments (0)

The sparkling AFL career of West Coast premiership defender Adam Hunter is almost certainly over, with the 28-year-old's shoulder injury so bad he may require a total shoulder replacement later in life.

Hunter, out of contract at season's end, has undergone several shoulder reconstructions over the past year as well as ongoing specialist treatment in a bid to fix the complaint.

But it has failed to ease the extreme pain, while his movement above his shoulders is still heavily restricted.

The 151-game veteran returned to WAFL ranks a few weeks ago in a final bid to prove he could still handle the rigours of competitive football, but Eagles coach John Worsfold said Hunter's shoulder was as bad as ever.

"I don't know what Adam's thinking about his football career but it's unlikely that he'd be capable of playing AFL football," Worsfold said on Tuesday.

"You can explore further things but the next major surgery for Adam will basically be a new shoulder, which they don't like to do in people that age.

"His shoulder's in pretty bad shape."

Shoulder replacement surgery is usually reserved for people with severe arthritis of the shoulder joint.

The procedure alleviates pain by replacing the damaged bone and cartilage with a metal ball and a plastic socket.

While Hunter is unlikely to undergo the procedure any time soon, he may require it later on if the pain in his shoulder fails to subside post-football.

Hunter's ability to hold down a key defensive post and pinch-hit up forward proved crucial in West Coast's charge to the 2006 premiership.

He booted bags of four goals in the semi-final win over the Western Bulldogs and preliminary final triumph over Adelaide, before gathering 22 possessions and snagging a crucial goal in the one-point grand final win over Sydney.

"He's been an outstanding player for us," Worsfold said.

"Even the games he played this year he played very well for us.

"If (forced retirement) is the case, it will be sad not to have him part of it, but we all move on for various reasons."

Meanwhile, Worsfold said he wouldn't be surprised if Eagles fans cheered on adopted Tiger Ben Cousins in Friday night's clash at Subiaco Oval.

Worsfold said Cousins, who played 238 games for West Coast before he was dumped as his drug addiction spiralled out of control, would be a "headache" to contain during the game.

"I'm happy for the fans to give Cuz any sort of welcome they want to give but what I really want to see is that they actually cheer our boys when we run out because they are West Coast members and supporters and the players have really worked hard this year to improve and show them some excitement," Worsfold said.

"A lot of the Melbourne supporters used to cheer me on.

"I think they were cheering.

"Woosha sounded like boo. I must have got it confused."

With Ryan Davis (jaw) ruled out of the match, Worsfold said premiership midfielder Chad Fletcher was a slim chance to return for a farewell game.

But even if Fletcher is once again overlooked, he could receive a last-minute call-up should either David Wirrpanda's or Andrew Embley's partner go into labour.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news