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Injuries hit Demons and Blues

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Carlton ruckman Matthew Kreuzer will miss the start of the AFL season while Melbourne young gun Christian Petracca is out for the year after both suffered significant injuries.

Petracca will miss the 2015 AFL season after the prized No.2 draft pick ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament at training on Monday.

The 19-year-old was sent for scans after the mishap, which confirmed the worst-case scenario.

“Christian had an incident today at training, which involved twisting his knee,” Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney told the club’s website.

“Unfortunately scans today confirmed a rupture of the ACL in his left knee.

“This is devastating news for Christian and the club, as he was preparing for the season ahead.

“He’ll meet surgeons tonight and have the appropriate surgery to repair the ACL as soon as possible.”

The big-bodied midfielder had been spoken of as a possible No.1 pick ahead of last year’s national draft and was considered ready for AFL action early in the season as Paul Roos attempts to take the club back to the finals for the first time since 2006.

Mahoney said there was nothing in the incident that occurred when Petracca led out for a ball and went to change direction.

“It’s one of those ones that he’s now just got to take his medicine and miss the season,” Mahoney said.

“But hopefully it sets him up and he’ll have a long career.

“Hopefully he learns some things from this.”

Petracca’s injury continues a wretched run for the luckless Demons, who have had to contend with a string of serious injuries in recent years, while also losing star defender James Frawley to free agency at the end of last season.

Former co-captain and fellow No.2 draft pick Jack Trengove’s past two campaigns have been cruelled by a foot stress fracture; young gun Jesse Hogan didn’t play an AFL game last year thanks to a back injury; tall forward Mitch Clark retired suddenly early last season with depression; and former Cat Shannon Byrnes was forced into retirement by a foot injury.

“All we can do, like every other club, is take the injuries that are going to come at some stage and make sure you’ve got a team that can cope with them,” Mahoney said.

“Apart from this injury, we’ve got a pretty healthy list, so there are opportunities for other players.”

Petracca took to Twitter to thank supporters after news of his diagnosis became public on Monday.

“Thanks everyone for the messages and I appreciate the support,” Petracca said.

“Looking forward to starting rehab (and) getting back on the track. I’ll be back.”

The start of Carlton’s Kreuzer’s season is under a cloud after scans revealed a hairline fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his  right foot, with the 25-year-old to be in a moon-boot for up to six weeks before the break will be reassessed.

Kreuzer played only one match in 2014 due to a right foot injury.

The club says the current issue is in a different spot, with football manager Andrew McKay tipping Kreuzer won’t miss too many games.

“It’s exceptionally disappointing for Matthew given all the hard work he has put in to get his body back to peak shape,” McKay said.

“But we’re confident he will play the majority of the season.”

Kreuzer’s current contact ends after the 2015 season and he is yet to re-sign with the Blues.

– with AAP

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