The Courier-Mail

Knights’ end brings unease for a rising Sun

- ANDREW HAMILTON

CHRIS Knights’ retirement this week sent a shudder through the Suns.

The Tiger is the only other high profile AFL player to have suffered a ruptured patella tendon, the injury that ruled Jaeger O’Meara out for the year.

Knights played just one AFL game after suffering the injury in round seven, 2013, and that was almost two years later against Brisbane in round three this year. O’Meara ruptured his patella tendon in an NEAFL practice match against the Lions in March.

It was his first game after radical off-season surgery where he had both knee caps shaved to reduce the chronic tendinitis he played with throughout 2014. However, the Suns have admitted for the first time the injury may have been linked to the operations.

The Suns believe O’Meara’s youth and profession­alism stand him in good stead to resume his career but coach Rodney Eade admits there are some unknowns.

“There is always some doubt, but we think we have got the best medical advice,’’ Eade said.

“He has started his program already. The injury he had at the start of this year probably might be linked to the operation he had at the end of last year, even though they were separate injuries and it was a freakish accident.

“We are confident he will be right. He will give himself every chance because he is very profession­al. He is young and he is quite a strong person.

“But there is always that element of doubt.’’

Eade said O’Meara was on a special strength program and he hoped the 2013 Rising Star winner would be fine for preseason training in November.

He also hoped David Swallow would be fit to join O’Meara on the track for the first day of pre-season. Swallow has damaged the posterior cruciate ligament in both knees from repeated collisions.

“It is the same injury on both knees,” Eade said.

“It is a PCL, which is a rare one, and he has had the same operation on both knees and we hope that will give him longevity in the game.’’

Andrew Raines has retired after 129 games with the Tigers, Lions and Suns. He told teammates yesterday it was time to call it a day because of a degenerati­ve knee injury.

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