The Courier-Mail

SORE GAZZA KNEEDS THE EXTRA REST

- ANDREW HAMILTON

GARY Ablett has been battling a frozen shoulder and says the knee injury that has prematurel­y ended his season may be a blessing in disguise.

When Ablett limped off the Adelaide Oval on Saturday it capped the toughest 12 months in the dual Brownlow medallist’s illustriou­s career.

The Suns skipper had been playing under duress with inflammati­on in his shoulder during his four-game comeback, and last week went in for scans to determine the extent of capsulitis in the joint.

Although he will not require further surgery on the reconstruc­ted shoulder, extra rest is needed.

“The shoulder wasn’t 100 per cent, but at the same time I was confident enough in it that I wasn’t doing any further damage and that I could have finished the season off,’’ he said.

“Unfortunat­ely this has happened now and in a way it might be a blessing in disguise. It gives me time to get the shoulder right and going into next preseason I should be 100 per cent.’’

For the second year in a row Ablett will miss the back end of the season.

He managed just six games in his 2015 campaign after struggling to recover from the shoulder injury he suffered in the Round 16 victory over Collingwoo­d last year.

His season ended a week later this year when teammate Matt Shaw fell across his leg late in the first quarter of Saturday’s loss to the Crows. He was in significan­t pain and after a quick consultati­on with club medicos was subbed off at the quarter-time break.

The initial diagnosis was that he may have cartilage damage and was a chance to return for the final two or three games of the season. But scans yesterday confirmed he had suffered a grade two tear to his medial ligament and would spend a month in a brace. He will not require surgery. “I’ve done some damage to the MCL, obviously the ligament in there,” he said.

“They’re saying about a grade two, which will mean I’ve got to be in this brace for four weeks. That probably means I’m going to miss the rest of the season, which is a bit disappoint­ing.

“I’ll just focus on the rehab now, do what I’ve got to do, and I’m just looking forward to helping the boys out where I can over the next six weeks and then jumping into a big pre-season.”

 ??  ?? BATTERED: Gary Ablett limps off the Adelaide Oval on Saturday. Picture: Simon Cross
BATTERED: Gary Ablett limps off the Adelaide Oval on Saturday. Picture: Simon Cross

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