K rock Football

Buck blow for Centurions

Werribee Centrals defender Chad Buck has suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

WERRIBEE Centrals have lost another player to a season-ending knee injury, with Chad Buck to undergo surgery on a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament on Wednesday.

The young defender joins good mate Daryl Chesterman in having his season ended prematurely by an ACL injury.

Centurions co-coach Nick Smith says the diagnosis on a knee injury suffered in the loss to Bannockburn on May 1 caught the club by surprise.

“At first, we thought he would only miss a couple of weeks, and he just thought it was sore,” Smith said.

“But after an MRI and a bit of COVID trouble stopped him from getting to his surgeon, he got confirmation today (Tuesday) he’d done the same as Daryl with a full ACL rupture and needs a reco.

“We’ve lost a lot of young talent in a very short period of time this year.”

Buck, the son of former Centrals premiership star Heath, had played 24 of a possible 25 games since arriving at Galvin Park from Werribee Districts ahead of the 2019 season.

While not receiving the plaudits of some of his higher-profile teammates, Buck is highly regarded by the Centurions.

“We rate him as our most important defender,” Smith said. “Generally speaking, he got the best forward.

“And he was coming out his shell a little bit because he was always a bit of a quiet character.

“But, he was starting to lead and talk and instruct.

“You don’t even want to think about. We’ve had three or four weeks without him, but to think you now need to get through the rest of the year and probably part of next year is pretty hard to handle.”

Co-captain Matt Miller (broken jaw) and young gun Connor Linehan-Cunningham (posterior cruciate ligament) are unlikely to be seen until July.

Former Leopold star Miller has been unable to see his specialist to receive clearance to return due to COVID restrictions.

Key forward Nathan Johnson’s four-week suspension for an incident from the Bannockburn game still has one week remaining.

Twitter: @tom_king79