Hawthorn’s campaign for a fourth-straight AFL premiership has suffered a significant blow with Jarryd Roughead to miss half the season.
The Hawks revealed on Sunday that the tall utility needs knee surgery that will put him out of action for four to five months.
Roughead, a four-time Hawthorn premiership star, is one of their most important players.
Hawthorn football manager Chris Fagan told the club website that Roughead had been managing a posterior cruciate ligament injury.
“We found out this morning that Jarryd requires a PCL reconstruction, which means that he’s not going to be available to play until somewhere in the middle of the season,” Fagan said.
“That’s a fair stint out – somewhere between four to five months.
“He’s actually had a PCL injury for a long time, but in the past if it’s got a little bit sore he just has a day off and it clears up and he continues to train and play.”
Fagan added that Roughead’s pre-season had gone well until Christmas.
“For some unknown reason the knee’s got sore just lately and not recovering when we’ve given him a rest,” he said.
The Hawks expect Roughead to have surgery most likely in the next fortnight.
It is a weekend of big contrasts for Roughead – the bad news was made public a day after he married Sarah Dunn in Melbourne.
Last year, Roughead missed two games after he needed surgery to remove a skin cancer from his bottom lip.
“Roughs had a few challenges in the last little while – this is just another one,” Fagan said.
“He’ll take that in his stride, and as he said to me the other day, he’ll be really fresh in the second half of the year and can’t wait for that to come around.”
Roughead has played 231 senior games since his 2005 debut.
Along with the Hawks’ last three flags, he was also a member of their 2008 premiership team.
Roughead won the 2013 Coleman Medal and his extended absence will mean a significant reorganisation of Hawthorn’s attack.
“It does give some opportunities for some of our younger forwards like James Sicily and Tim O’Brien to step up,” Fagan said.
“So were really looking forward to seeing how those guys go, knowing that we’ve got Rough coming back on-board mid-season.”