K rock Football

“Like a car crash”

Grovedale star Nathan Deans. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

A SERIOUS knee injury that will sideline Grovedale co-captain Nathan Deans for at least 12 months has been compared to damage suffered by a car crash victim.

The 2016 Mathieson Medallist sustained the injury in the first quarter of the Tigers’ 160-point loss to Bell Park at Hi Sushi Oval.

“He’s done the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), poster (cruciate ligament), the lateral (ligament), the medial (ligament), and there’s been a snap in the hamstring tendon as well,” coach Daniel Fraser said.

“There’s a couple of other minor little things as well. It’s been likened to a car crash.

“It’s really disappointing for Nathan, (and) disappointing for the footy club.

“I’ve got to know Nathan pretty well over the last few years, and if anyone’s going to fight back bigger and better, it’ll be Nathan Deans.”

Fraser says watching it live that he feared Deans, who has played 157 senior games, had done some serious damage.

“One of the guys from Bell Park made contact with one of our blokes, who made contact with Speedy, and he hyperextended his knee,” Fraser said.

“It didn’t look great at the time; he went down pretty quickly.

“In true Speedy standard, he got himself up and was assisted off by the trainers.

“I’d say anyone who had the damage he’s done would probably get stretchered off.

“It didn’t look good at the time, and when I looked at vision on Sunday morning, I thought, “yeah, he’s in a fair bit of trouble.”

Fraser says the loss of Deans is an obvious blow to Grovedale, which is chasing just its third finals appearance since the turn of the century, and first since an audacious run to the preliminary final in 2016.

“It’s definitely going to hurt,” he said. “You’re talking about a bloke who’s been the warrior of your midfield and carried your footy club for a number of years for now.

“And you lose him from a leadership point-of-view.

“But, what it does, is give some of our younger kids, who we’ve put a lot of faith in, an opportunity to step up and help fill that void in the midfield.

“And it gives other guys that are young around the footy club an opportunity to step and be leaders.”

After dropping out of the top five for the first time in 2021 following the hammering at the hands of the Dragons, Grovedale faces a crucial clash with Geelong West at Burdoo Reserve on Saturday.

The Tigers will be without Deans but are a chance to welcome back big man Ryan Abbott, midfielder Lachie Smith, young gun Harrison Whyte, key forward Cam Delaney and defender brother Tim.

However, league-leading goalkicker Tom Gillett will again line up with the Geelong Falcons.

*Saturday’s Grovedale-Geelong West match will be K rock’s GFL Match of the Day.

Twitter: @tom_king79