Franklin's injury leaves AFL Hawks torn - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Franklin's injury leaves AFL Hawks torn

By Roger Vaughan 12/09/2011 03:48:52 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge is torn between wanting to risk Lance Franklin in Friday night's AFL semi-final against Sydney and protecting their most valuable player.

Franklin is a near-certainty to miss the sudden-death final at the MCG after hyper-extending his right knee in last Friday night's qualifying final loss to Geelong.

Hodge's comments sum up the conflicting emotions at Hawthorn - they would dearly love the two-time Coleman Medallist to somehow come up for this week's game but know they cannot risk further damage to the knee.

"I would put him out there no matter how he is feeling," Hodge told radio station Nova 100.

"He is still going to take out the defender."

But in the next breath Hodge added: "You have to be smart, he is Lance Franklin, he is the face of the footy club.

"If there is any chance of him hurting himself they won't put him out there. They won't risk him at all."

As it is, Franklin dodged a bullet when he landed awkwardly and hyper-extended the knee.

It initially looked like the brilliant forward had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, meaning a knee reconstruction that would put him out of action for up to a year.

Bone bruising, an injury that still makes it unlikely he will play again this season, is still a far better diagnosis for player and club.

"I thought, for a little bit, we might have lost him for 12 months," Hawks assistant coach Adam Simpson told reporters on Monday.

"The guys in the box were pretty flat there for a few seconds but it's a great result - he's pretty lucky in the end.

"He's a chance - it was probably the best result we could ask for.

"He's probably an outside chance but he's in the mix."

Simpson said the Hawks will wait for the swelling to go down and see when Franklin can next train.

"I don't think he'd be risked if there was any chance of making it worse - that's with any player, let alone Buddy," Simpson said.

In better news, Simpson said ruckman Max Bailey would be fit for Friday night after suffering a calf muscle injury against the Cats.

Bailey's duel with Swans ruckman Shane Mumford will be critical, especially after Hawthorn struggled badly with centre-bounce clearances in the qualifying final.

"It wasn't a good night for our boys (at) the centre bounce and we'll have a good look at that," Simpson said.

"It's something we need to address this week, because Sydney are second to none with the centre bounces."

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