Adelaide captain Rory Sloane will miss the rest of the AFL season after scans confirmed he has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Sloane was hurt during the final quarter of the Crows’ 19-point win over Richmond on Saturday night and had to be helped off the field by medicos before being substituted out of the game.
The 32-year-old will have reconstructive surgery in the coming week in a significant blow for Adelaide as they chase a surprise finals berth.
But the experienced midfielder is adamant the injury will not be the end of his decorated career.
“For me at 32 doing a knee is not ideal but it’s a great challenge to come back fitter and healthier,” Sloane said.
“It’s a little reset on the body for me to go again.
“I’ve seen my sister Shae go through it before and I have been inspired by her positive attitude and diligent approach to her rehabilitation.”
Sloane’s injury took some of the gloss off a polished Adelaide performance, in which they triumphed 15.11 (101) to 12.10 (82) to bank a second win of the season.
They take on the Western Bulldogs in Ballarat in round six.
“Saturday night was an incredible result for us as a team,” Sloane said.
“We’ve been building and that was a good, solid grind against a quality side.
“So while I’m obviously disappointed I won’t be on the field for the rest of the season I will be doing everything I can off it to help us keep improving.”
Sloane played only a dozen games in 2020 and 18 last year after a string of problems including a foot injury and a detached retina in an eye.
This season, he was subbed out in two of his last three games.
“It has been a challenging period for him … it just seems to be one thing after the other,” Crows coach Matthew Nicks said.
“But he keeps fronting up … he just grinds his way through. He is exactly what we want to be as a footy team.”