The AFL round-one injury curse has struck again, with West Coast defender Mitch Brown suffering a knee injury in the opening minutes of their clash with the Western Bulldogs.
Brown’s left knee buckled as he ran to a marking contest, with the 26-year-old grabbing it in pain straight away.
He fell 13 minutes into the first term of the Eagles’ season opener and was taken off on a stretcher after a long delay.
Brown has already had his left knee reconstructed, as a 19-year-old, missing the entire 2008 season as a result.
The injury hits the Eagles where it hurts, in their defence.
West Coast are already struggling in their back line, with long-serving defender Darren Glass retiring last year and 2014 club champion Eric Mackenzie suffering a serious knee injury during the pre-season.
Brown’s injury is the third potentially serious injury suffered in first quarters this season already.
Carlton’s Dale Thomas dislocated his shoulder in the first minute of the AFL season, with Bombers midfielder David Myers suffering the same fate in the opening minutes of Essendon’s loss to Sydney.
Brown’s injury injected first-gamer Tom Lamb into the match after starting as the substitute.