A young Eagles defender has been ruled out of 2020 after rupturing his ACL at training.
In a shattering blow, Francis Watson will undergo surgery after he injured his his knee changing direction at training last week.
“It was a devastating blow for Franky and the whole footy club,” Eagles general manager of football Craig Vozzo said.
“Unfortunately, a really innocuous incident at training. Often these things are. He turned and felt his knee go and unfortunately after the scans it confirmed the worst which was an ACL injury.
“It’s a largely 12-month type of injury. We’ll support Franky as much as we can through this process to get him back to full fitness.
“He’s in reasonable spirits given what’s happened but the surgery date is yet to be confirmed and we’re going to look after him.”
Watson played two games in 2019 and was yet to feature this season.
In better news for the club, star defender Jeremy McGovern (thumb) could return to face Geelong while utility Brendon Ah Chee (back) is available.
“(McGovern) will be a test this week. He seems to be healing quite well and in really good spirits, so we’re hopeful,” Vozzo said.
“Brendon had those fractures to the vertebrae in the lower back area. He has freed up a lot better than this time last week, so he’ll do some more main training tomorrow.
“Hopefully he’ll get through that well and put his hand up for selection.”
Jamaine Jones (hamstring) will miss the Cats clash while Jack Petrucelle (hamstring) and Nathan Vardy (ankle) remain unavailable through injury.