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  • Rowan likely to miss season after ACL scan shows a tear

    2018 - 07.03

    Warrnambool forward Jason Rowan is likely to be out for the season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament. 150325AS21 Picture: AARON SAWALL

    WARRNAMBOOL spearhead Jason Rowan is all but certain to miss the 2015 Hampden league season with a serious knee injury.

    Rowan, 28, will see a surgeon today after an MRI scan taken on Monday revealed he had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

    His only hope to play this season is if the surgeon offers a different diagnosis to the scan — a scenario he was not confident would eventuate.

    Rowan tore the ligament attempting a lead just minutes into a practice match against Geelong league club Lara at Walter Oval on Saturday. A post-match diagnosis indicated the ligament was intact. But the scan revealed otherwise, confirming his worst fears.

    Rowan was yesterday coming to terms with the prospect he would miss the Blues’ quest for grand final redemption, having lost to Koroit last September.

    “I don’t think it’s really sunk in 100 per cent yet. I’d still like to think there’s a possibility that the MRI is wrong,” he said.

    “But I’ve got to accept the fact now it’s done. A few people who did the tests (post-match) seemed to think the ACL was still firm and solid.

    “I explained that to (doctor) Selby (King), how come people are saying it felt firm.

    “He said the build-up of fluid and the nitty-gritty stuff that’s around there was compacting the knee to make it feel like the ACL was intact.

    “That’s where the hope came from, that it might have only been a meniscus tear. Now the MRI has come back from Melbourne, it’s shown the ACL is gone.”

    Rowan said he was playing a “waiting game” to learn when he would have surgery, should his surgeon back up the scan result.

    He said the injury came in innocuous circumstances.

    “It was a normal lead-out. I turn five, six, seven times like that every quarter. I went to make the turn and the ankle hasn’t come with me, it stayed planted,” he said. “As I’ve done the turn, the knee gave way on me and popped and cracked. I knew once I heard it and felt it I’d done something.”

    Exacerbating the frustration, Rowan had enjoyed a near-perfect pre-season. He said his absence in the forward line would “open up a spot for someone else to take”.

    Travis Graham, Sam Cowling and South Australian recruit Tim McIntyre loom as the main options to take on increased goalkicking responsibilities.

    “You can throw Timmy O’Keeffe in as a swingman and even James Fary, he’s at the club now. There are a lot of people who can kick the goals,” he said.

    Rowan said he hoped to assist coach Scott Carter while he was sidelined. Taking on a role helping the Blues’ under 18½ forwards is also a possibility.

    “There are going to be a lot of things I’ll be doing at the footy club,” he said.

    Carter said he was disappointed for Rowan, who sits second on the all-time Hampden league goals tally behind Tony Russell.

    “First and foremost my initial reaction is one of real disappointment for Jason,” he said.

    “He’s captain of our club, he’s set a great example this pre-season how to prepare.”

    Carter said his first priority was to ensure Rowan was all right. He believed in the spearhead’s character and determination to bounce back.

    But he acknowledged “one player in our side isn’t going to replace Jason Rowan”. The Blues would need a collective effort from its other forwards.

    “He’s captain, one of the greats of our club and one of the greats of the Hampden league. We need to move on quick and focus on the start of our season,” Carter said.

    “We probably need to use a bit of innovation to come up with some variation in our forward 50.”

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