AFL News: Injury setbacks for Pies star duo, Parker fails with appeal, Aka lays down challenge to Rayner


Collingwood star Jordan De Goey will miss up to another month of football and Mason Cox is out for at least six weeks as the reigning premiers count the cost of their mounting injury toll.

Versatile tall Jeremy Howe (groin) and Jack Bytel (concussion) are expected to be available for the clash with the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.

The pair will be tested at the Magpies’ main training session on Wednesday.

But De Goey is still sidelined with what has now been diagnosed as an abdominal tendon tear, while Cox is in concussion protocols and has a knee injury.

De Goey missed Friday’s draw with Fremantle after experiencing “groin awareness” in round 10.

“Further assessment revealed Jordan De Goey sustained an acute rectus abdominal tendon tear,” the Magpies said in a statement.

“The 28-year-old is working through his rehab program and is expected return within three to four weeks.”

Ruck-forward Cox took a knock to the face during the Dockers draw and twisted his knee in a tackle.

“In addition to the concussion, scans have confirmed Cox sustained a Grade 2 medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury from the match,” the statement said.

“The 33-year-old is expected to return in six weeks’ time while he rehabilitates the MCL injury.”

In addition, Collingwood goal-kicker Brody Mihocek re-injured his troublesome hamstring against Fremantle and will miss three to five weeks.

Breakout fan-favourite Joe Richards sustained a metatarsal fracture in the same game and will miss four to five weeks.

Fellow forward Jamie Elliott is still on a modified training program while he manages a vascular issue and is targeting a return some time in the next two to five weeks.

Tom Mitchell (plantar fasciitis) is on the same time frame as Elliott, while Will Hoskin-Elliott (hamstring) is expected back in a fortnight.

Jordan De Goey breaks away from an attempted tackle by Dion Prestia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Parker loses downgrade bid

Former Sydney captain Luke Parker will sit out another five games after the appeal against his VFL suspension failed.

Parker will miss another five matches, having already served one, after the VFL Appeal Board dismissed his challenge on Monday night.

The Swans were hoping to downgrade the ban to four games, insisting the six match suspension was excessive.

Parker will not return to the AFL until well into July, at the earliest, after being unable to force his way back into the ladder-leading Swans when he recovered from a pre-season injury.

The appeal board rejected the submissions that the VFL tribunal made an error in originally handing down the six-game suspension for Parker’s heavy bump on May 17 that resulted in Frankston opponent Josh Smith being taken to hospital.

Smith is expected to be sidelined for up to 10 weeks as he recovers from his injuries.

Parker has played 283 AFL games, winning three Swans best-and-fairests, and was a member of the club’s 2012 premiership side.

With his glowing CV, the 31-year-old midfielder was expected to waltz back into Sydney’s best 23 once he was fit again following a broken arm suffered in February.

But with the Swans dropping just one game this year and Isaac Heeney and Chad Warner dominating in the midfield, Parker was relegated to three appearances in the VFL.

He will now be restricted to merely training for five more weeks until he can play another competitive match.

Akermanis’ advice for Rayner to thrive

Brisbane legend Jason Akermanis has challenged 2017 No.1 draft pick Cam Rayner to finally deliver on his potential as the Lions claw to salvage their season.

After a promising three weeks, the Lions came crashing back to earth on Sunday with a 25-point defeat to bogey team Hawthorn – their fifth-straight loss against the Hawks.

It has left the Lions reeling in 12th with a 4-6-1 record heading into the bye after making last year’s grand final.

Rayner had just seven possessions against Hawthorn – only touching the ball more than sub Harry Sharp and tall Brandon Ryan, who was making his Lions debut.

That quiet performance came just six weeks after Rayner produced arguably the best game of his career in a match-winning midfield turn in an upset of Melbourne at the MCG.

Since being heralded for what shaped as a breakout game, the 24-year-old has again slipped back into inconsistency. 

“Cam Rayner, he’s an incredible player, but he hasn’t really produced now he’s in his seventh season,” Akermanis told AAP.

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

“He’s really due to play way better footy.

“More in the midfield, 20 plus possessions and a couple of shots on goal (a game) and he’s just not even doing any of that – win, lose or draw. 

“You watch a guy like (West Coast’s No.1 draft pick) Harley Reid in his first year play incredibly well at home. 

“For Cam there’s not really a reason, unless he’s injured and we don’t know about it.”

Akermanis played tagging roles in defence and in the midfield before he became a Brownlow medallist and a genuine superstar of the AFL in 2001 when the Lions won the first of three-straight premierships.

The Australian Football Hall of Famer suggested the Lions try something similar with Rayner to boost his output.

“Unless you’re a natural ball-winner, which he he doesn’t really seem to be a guy that accumulates and gets in the right spots, like other players who play midfield all the time,” Akermanis said.

“He’s not getting anywhere near the ball so let’s put him in a spot, whether he tags straight out in the midfield and learns where to run and how to run on good players who can take him near the ball.”

Despite the Lions staring at missing the finals for the first time since 2018, Akermanis insists the future is bright for Brisbane and they could use the second half of the season as a springboard into 2025.

The Lions have been hit hard by injury with five players – Will Ashcroft, Keidean Coleman, Tom Doedee, Lincoln McCarthy and Darcy Gardiner – sidelined with long-term knee issues.

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