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Knee fears for Cats’ young gun

April 8, 2024 11:15 am in by
Lara ruckman Sam Purdy in action against St Albans in 2023. (Marcel Berens/Sports Media)

Lara is hoping for the best but is fearing the worst after Sam Purdy suffered a knee injury during Saturday’s practice match loss against reigning Ballarat league premier Darley at Bisinella Oval.

Co-coach Shayne Stone says Purdey, who would have played his 50th game in this week’s Round 1 meeting with North Shore, was waiting for the results of scans, which are likely to confirm a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

“Early in the last quarter, one of the Darley guys went to go around him, and he just shifted – so there was no contact- then his knee gave away,” Stone said.

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“A few guys that were around him heard a bit of a ‘pop’, so we’re fearing it’s an ACL.

“He’s had a ripping pre-season, and with Bill Goodwin out, he was captain for the day. We’d just elevated him to the leadership group as well.

“He’s been outstanding, so it’s absolutely shattering for him and our group after what we copped last year in a practice match.

“It leaves you a little bit flat, but we’ll need to support him.”

With Ryan Bell’s recruitment from South Barwon, Stone was looking forward to Purdey being released to play as a midfielder.

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“Inside to the wing and half-forward,” Stone said.

“Because he’s so fit and such a good size, we were pretty excited to free him up out of the ruck duties because he was undersized.

“You know what you’re going to get with his effort.

“It’s a big hole we were looking to see filled, but now we’re going to have to have a couple of boys step up.”

In better news for Lara, barring any issues this week, co-coach Devon Smith will play his first game since returning to the club in the Paddy Cahir Cup clash with the Seagulls at Windsor Park.

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The former Essendon and GWS Giants star suffered a ruptured Achilles in a practice match ahead of the 2023 season, sidelining him for last year.

X: @krockfootball

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