K rock Football

Panthers uncertain on Barton

Bell Post Hill star Tim Barton will miss at least a month through injury. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

AN injury similar in nature to one suffered by St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary could end the season of Bell Post Hill star Tim Barton.

As krockfootball.com.au reported last week, Barton was hospitalised on July 10 following the Panthers’ win over East Geelong after a corky he suffered the previous week against Thomson “blew up like a balloon“.

Coach Justin Tarr says the damage has been likened to but is not as serious as the compartment syndrome that resulted in Geary undergoing surgery.

“This is the second time it’s happened to him,” Tarr said. “If he was to come back too early, then there’s the risk of doing some serious damage to his health.

“We’ll make sure he won’t come back too early; we have to look after him first and foremost.”

Tarr says the best-case scenario for Barton is four weeks, which would see the six-time premiership player back in time for finals.

“We’re hoping it’s only four weeks, but it could also be the season,” Tarr said.

“The doctors are not 100 per cent sure how it’s going to come up. He’s still on crutches at the moment, still really sore, and he’s got a little bit of swelling.

“Until that goes down, surgery can’t 100 per cent be ruled out.

“Minimum four weeks, and hopefully that’s all it is.”

Barton is one of several high-profile Panthers sidelined, including Beau McNamara (hip), Attila Sulics (foot), Dylan Witney (groin), Jordan Flaccavento (ankle), Will Kerrins (foot), Brody Hecker (groin), Aaron Vacirca (shoulder) and Sam Harmer (knee).

Tarr admits his team will benefit from the COVID-enforced season shutdown, which will cost as least two rounds of action.

“To be 100 per cent honest, it’s been a blessing for us,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of guys who are pretty sore at the moment, and they’ve been carrying injuries for a couple of games now.

“We probably would have had 5-6 out if we played Inverleigh on the weekend.

“Hopefully, these guys can get themselves 100 per cent fit and get in some training.”

Twitter: @tom_king79