Coleman’s cruel injury blow as Lions lick wounds

Murray Wenzel and Shayne Hope |

Keidean Coleman had to be helped from the field in an opening-match injury blow for the Lions.
Keidean Coleman had to be helped from the field in an opening-match injury blow for the Lions.

The Brisbane Lions’ AFL premiership charge has taken an early hammering with Keidean Coleman suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) before his side gave up a 46-point lead to lose by one to Carlton.

Coleman was helped from the field at halftime on Friday night after his left leg clashed with Blues tackler Lachie Fogarty as he kicked.

The Lions had blitzed Carlton early, but in the third term had eight-straight goals kicked on them in a 13.8 (86) to 12.13 (85) loss that ended a 14-game winning streak at their Gabba stronghold.

Coleman was sent for scans on Saturday which confirmed the Lions’ worst fears of a season-ending injury.

Keidean Coleman injured.
Brisbane’s Keidean Coleman lies on the ground after suffering a knee injury against Carlton. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

“It’s really disappointing news for Keidean, especially in the first game after a strong pre-season and an impressive finals campaign last year,” Lions football manager Danny Daly said in a statement.

“However, Kiddy (Coleman) is only young and has a very bright future ahead of him with the Brisbane Lions, which we all look forward to.

“Kiddy is an extremely positive and calm person, so I am confident those traits will no doubt help him get through his recovery over the coming months.”

Conor McKenna could return from a hamstring injury next week while Will Ashcroft won’t be back until the latter half of this season after his own ACL setback in 2023.

But Coleman’s ball use and dare out of defence will be hard to replace; the 23-year-old was dominant in the first half of last season’s grand final.

“We get disappointed for all the lads with those sorts of injuries, because we know (it’s) a long way back,” Lions coach Chris Fagan said after the round-one defeat.

“It’ll create an opportunity for somebody else, which will be their good fortune.”

Melbourne have also suffered a significant injury blow, losing Jake Bowey to a broken collarbone that requires surgery and will sideline the defender for eight weeks.

Bowey suffered the injury in a third-quarter spoiling attempt during the Demons’ 22-point defeat to Sydney in the season opener on Thursday night.

Jake Bowey.
Jake Bowey launches Melbourne into attack before suffering his injury against the Swans. (Steven Markham/AAP PHOTOS)

“(Bowey) has become an important member of our team, and we’re confident that he will approach his recovery with the same level of commitment that he brings to the game,” Melbourne football manager Alan Richardson said.

Fellow flag contenders Port Adelaide will be without key forward Ollie Lord for the start of the season after a training mishap.

Lord landed heavily in a marking contest on Saturday which caused high-grade bone bruising on his knee and an impaction fracture in his tibia.

The 22-year-old will consult a specialist in the coming days to determine whether surgery is required.

The Power are yet to put a time frame on Lord’s recovery.