COLLINGWOOD coach Nathan Buckley concedes injury-cursed Daniel Wells may never return to AFL action.
Wells has opted against surgery on knee ligament damage but will be sidelined about three months.
Buckley hasn’t given up hope of the 34-year-old playing again but says there’s the potential for him not make it back.
Wells damaged the posterior and medial ligaments in a knee in his AFL comeback last weekend.
“To be injured that significantly is tragic for him,” Buckley told SEN radio on Wednesday.
“He has had a long career. It’s very challenging to consider someone as talented as him is potentially not going to get back.”
Wells has played only 15 AFL games for the Magpies in the past three seasons, beset by calf, thigh and foot problems since crossing from North Melbourne.
“We knew that he had injury troubles but we thought that we could manage him and get him up often enough,” Buckley said.
“We haven’t had the return that we hoped for and he would’ve hoped for.”
Buckley said the decision to avoid surgery gave Wells some “light at the end of the tunnel” to return this season.
“He’s going to have to play some more (VFL) football at some point prior to coming back in the side I would presume,” Buckley said.
“We definitely won’t be closing that door on him and keeping an open mind.”
© AAP 2019