With preseason well and truly underway, clubs and players are starting to ramp up their preparations for a big 2023 AFL season.
Coaches have planned heaps of running, ball drills and new game plans to implement over the next few months leading into the March start of the next campaign.
However, some players will have limited production during the summer due to recurring or new injuries.
Stay tuned to Sporting News to ensure you don’t miss any of the latest injury news.
Latest AFL preseason injury news
Moore bad news for the Pies
Friday, 9 Dec
Darcy Moore is another Pie struck down as the club revealed he has been in hospital.
The star defender is battling a bone infection (osteomyelitis) and won’t be training for some time.
GM of Football Graham Wright spoke on Moore:
“Our main priority is Darcy’s health and we will continue to support him as he recovers at home from the infection,” Wright said.
“We are grateful that this was picked up early by medical staff and as such, we are not expecting any long-term issues.”
Young Bomber can’t catch a break
Friday, 9 Dec
Luckless Essendon defender Zach Reid has copped another setback in his bid for AFL footy.
Reid suffered a stress in his lower back and will be on a modified training program for the next few weeks.
GM of Performance Dan McPherson spoke about the 20-year-old.
“Zach has been impressive during the off-season without missing a session since players returned on November 21. He’s been training at a really high level but has shown slight discomfort in recent days. After consulting with the club’s high-performance team today, the club has decided to allow him the time to rest and recover with a modified program,” McPherson said.
“He is a natural talent with elite athleticism and his professionalism will give him the best chance to recover. The club hopes to build him back up when the team returns in January.”
Adam Simpson provides update on Eagles’ injury
Thursday, 8 Dec
West Coast coach Adam Simpson has provided some intel on some of his players’ injuries, according to SEN.
“Oscar Allen, Tom Cole, Dom Sheed, Liam Duggan, Campbell Chesser, all these guys have had a really interrupted 12 months with significant injuries,” Simpson said.
“So how we get those guys back to AFL. It’s not as easy as ‘they’ve had a year off they should be fine’, we need to start overlaying football.
“They’re all really fit and gone away and got right from a fitness point of view. The next step is to overlay the football component which in this day and age is harder than you think.
“They go that hard, they go turbo when they train and trying to get some of these guys that haven’t tackled anyone in 12 months back into the program is our newest challenge.
“You won’t see them at every session, it’s about managing them so come February they’re up and about.”
Suns leaving nothing to chance for King return; Gold Coast update
Thursday, 8 Dec
Gold Coast are leaving nothing to chance in the hope Ben King can return with a bang.
The club is seeking out world-renowned reconditioning specialist Bill Knowles to assist with King’s return after he suffered an ACL injury on the eve of the 2022 season.
Knowles – from the US – has a long list of sporting athletes that he’s worked with including Tiger Woods, Andy Murray and Christian Petracca.
Lachie Weller and Connor Budarick are also on the mend from their ACL injuries from throughout the year.
The club announced Weller is turning heads from his injury and is likely to join the main group before Christmas.
Budarick is expected to commence full training in 2023.
Wednesday, 7 Dec
Richmond’s Dylan Grimes, Ivan Soldo, Jack Graham and Sam Banks have been kept a close eye on by new Physical Performance Manager Luke Meehan.
Grimes (hamstring) – “He’s been really good. He returned on Monday and he’s in great shape. He’s already joining in on skills and we’re looking to have a really healthy Dylan next year, everything’s been positive so far.”
Soldo (wrist surgery) – “He’s going really well. He’s already joining in on non-contact skills and is looking to be really fit and ready to be in full training in January.”
Graham (toe surgery) – “Jack’s a victim of his own toughness. He battled all year with his toe issue and got to the end of the season and we gave it a rest in the hope that it would improve. We found out at the start of November that things weren’t improving and we needed an intervention, and so he had some surgery. That’s gone really well from all reports, he’s already out of the moon boot and he’ll look to start running in January and he’ll have a big January/February looking to build into games at the start of the season.”
Banks (hip surgery) – “He’s going really well, he’s already back into almost full training. There’s no issues there and it’s good to have a fit Sam around the Club.”
Wednesday, 7 Dec
The wounded Western Bulldogs has been referred to the club due to the injuries held by Adam Treloar, Sam Darcy, Toby McLean and Rhylee West.
Treloar underwent surgery on his ankle and will be on limited duties before Christmas.
Darcy is also tending to a knee issue that has prevented him from training the past fortnight, while West (knee) is aiming to be back at full training in the next month.
McLean had surgery on a hand injury he suffered at training and will likely join the main group in 2023.
Andrew Mackie on Tom Hawkins injury
Wednesday, 7 Dec
Geelong’s Tom Hawkins recently underwent surgery on his foot, despite playing through the finals.
As a result, Hawkins will be on a modified training program for majority of the preseason according to list manager and former teammate Andrew Mackie.
“He’s still got the (moon)boot going on at the minute,” Mackie said on SEN.
“He’s really good. He’s looking good, the big fella.
“It’s obviously not ideal having surgery for anyone, but he’s had such a large workload over a number of years.
“With customised training programs, the fact that the can actually take some time off and look after some other bits of his body where rehabbing his foot isn’t the worst thing.
“Hopefully the foot does its thing and heals ok which my understanding is it seems to be ok.”
Tuesday, 6 Dec
Essendon’s Jake Stringer is struggling to get back to full fitness due to a groin complain.
The ‘package’ is and will be on a modified training program until 2023 but is doing ‘okay’ according to GM of Performance Daniel McPherson.
Yeah Jake’s going okay, he finished the season with some groin issues and he’s worked his way through that over the off-season,” McPherson said on SEN.
“What has been impressive about Jake is he was here a lot earlier than he needed to be or required to be. His first official day he was due back was yesterday, but we’ve seen him regularly over the last three or four weeks.
“He’s putting in some work to get himself up to speed, obviously we don’t need him playing in the next three or four weeks, we’re looking at a bit of a longer game for Jake.
“He’s got a bit of work to do but he’s progressing pretty nicely at the moment.”
St Kilda left with a King-sized problem
Tuesday, 6 Dec
St Kilda’s Max King suffered a bad shoulder injury at training on Tuesday and is expected to miss months.
Luckily for the Saints is that King may also miss the first few rounds pending a speedy recovery due to the timing of the injury.
However, new coach Ross Lyon could not afford to lose their star goal kicker and will now need to look at other creative sources for scores.
The 22-year-old has been a key pillar in St Kilda’s forward line and will be sorely missed throughout the preseason and early stages of 2023, explained Football Boss Geoff Walsh.
“Obviously this is an extremely disappointing setback for Max,” Walsh said.
“He had come back for pre-season in really great condition, which is a credit to his professionalism; a trait we know will stand him in good stead as he works through his rehab over the next few months.
“The recovery and rehabilitation period for this injury will be a number of months, which we will provide updates on as he progresses through his rehab program – suffice to say his return to play will not be until the season is well underway.”
De Goey down
Monday, 5 Dec
Collingwood matchwinner Jordan De Goey underwent shoulder surgery that he carried through the 2022 finals series.
Despite displaying little issues with it during September, the Pies thought it’d be wise to nip the injury in the bud early before any ongoing issues come up.
GM of Football Graham Wright expects De Goey to be back and raring in the new year.
“Jordan had been managing that right shoulder towards the end of our campaign and while we have given it every opportunity to settle over the off season, after consulting with a specialist in recent days, it was determined a clean-up is the best course of action for him,” Wright said.
“At this stage, we expect Jordan to be back to full training by January.”
Friday, 2 Dec
Carlton’s Sam Walsh hasn’t had a successful start to his preseason, facing ongoing back issues that has ruled him out since the round 23 loss.
Walsh is being monitored closely by staff but is on a strict management plan that will not include skills training this side of Christmas.
Marc Pittonet is progressing well from his PCL reconstruction 13 weeks ago and is running again, working on his conditioning.
George Hewett’s back surgery is in the past (14 weeks ago) and will aim to join the main group in January as is Lachie Fogarty (back).
Matthew Kennedy (foot) and Corey Durdin (shoulder) have also joined the main group following their injuries.
McPherson faces delayed preseason
Friday, 25 Nov
Adelaide’s Andrew McPherson underwent knee surgery and will face a delayed preseason.
Following a PCL injury in the SANFL, McPherson will be spending time before Christmas tending to his knee in rehab.
The 23-year-old is expected to be up and running within the next four to six weeks.
Coffield nearing full fitness, Hayes not far behind
Thursday, 24 Nov
St Kilda defender Nick Coffield is honing in on full fitness as he recovers from a knee reconstruction that ruled him out of the 2022 season.
The 23-year-old is setting his sights on a big 2023 but knows there is still plenty of work to be done, according to the club.
“I’m almost fully back with the group. I’m doing some drills now, so it is coming along pretty well. I’m not doing contact yet, but it is all on track and on time so far,” Coffield said.
“If all goes to plan, January is when I’ll be back with the group completely. By the time we start match sim, I should be good to go.”
Jack Hayes also suffered the same ACL injury but in round six against GWS and is on the mend as well.
Sloane back on track
Monday, 21 Nov
Adelaide veteran Rory Sloane is slowly but surely recovering from an ACL injury that kept him to four games in 2022.
The Crows returned to training in November and are keen to improve on their 14th placed finish.
Performance manager Darren Burgess said that Sloane will be looked at cautiously pre-Christmas and will try get him right for the start of 2023.
“He’s looking good and probably could’ve done some of the drills, but we’ll take it slowly, especially in the pre-Christmas period,” Burgess said.
“He’s also put on some good size and he’s in a great position right now to tackle most of the pre-season.
“We will certainly be cautious with him… but at this stage, he’s doing everything right to best prepare himself for Round One.”
Thursday, 17 Nov
GWS defender Sam Taylor underwent wrist surgery recently, an injury that he has battled with for some time.
Despite notching up his maiden AA blazer and Giant best-and-fairest in 2022, Taylor is likely to be on a modified training program while his wrist heals.
The 23-year-old is expected to resume full training in the new year.
Lachie Whitfield is also on a similar return timeline to that of Taylor, having tended to an ankle injury.
The 28-year-old had surgery and will be looking to return to his best in 2023.
Brent Daniels and Conor Stone have also been overseas to America to fix their troubling hamstring issues.