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Prized Demon draftee Christian Petracca to miss 2015 season after knee injury

Demon devastation, Dons begin top-up Matt Thompson and Nat Edwards with all the latest footy news.
This is devastating news for Christian and the club, as he was preparing for the season ahead
Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney

MELBOURNE youngster Christian Petracca will miss the 2015 season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee at training on Monday.

The Demons have confirmed the No.2 pick in last year's draft will have season-ending knee surgery.

The 19-year-old's knee buckled after falling awkwardly in a marking contest, forcing him to limp from the track.

Scans after the training incident confirmed the terrible news.

"Christian had an incident today (Monday) at training, which involved twisting his knee," Demons football manager Josh Mahoney told the club's website.

"Unfortunately scans today confirmed a rupture of the ACL in his left knee.

"This is devastating news for Christian and the club, as he was preparing for the season ahead.

"He'll meet surgeons tonight and have the appropriate surgery to repair the ACL as soon as possible."

The powerful midfielder, who is listed at 186cm and 94kg, had been training well and was pushing his claims for a spot in Melbourne's round one team. 

Mahoney said the club would need to provide appropriate support for Petracca after such a disappointing outcome.

"We have to make sure he's going through all the right things and there's people with him the whole time," Mahoney said.

"He's like every young player who wants to be out there and wants to be playing, and mentally he's going to have to deal with that as well."

Petracca and Angus Brayshaw, who the Dees drafted with pick No.3 in the 2014 draft, were expected to play their fair share of senior football in 2015.

They were star juniors, having dominated for Vic Metro at last year's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, and it is hoped the pair can join Jack Viney, Dom Tyson and Christian Salem as core members of the new-look Melbourne midfield.

 

DISASTER-STRUCK DEMON DRAFTEES

Luke Molan
The No.9 draft pick from the 2001 'superdraft' suffered a badly broken leg while playing in the VFL for Sandringham. Subsequent complications from the incident and other unrelated injuries prevented Molan, a promising key defender, from playing a single AFL game.

Colin Sylvia
Sylvia, taken at No.3 in the 2003 draft, suffered from osteitis pubis throughout his first season and his AFL debut was delayed until round nine, when he managed just one handball. He played just three games for the season and was plagued by OP throughout the early part of his career.

Jack Grimes
The former Melbourne co-captain was a highly rated junior, evidenced by his selection at No.14 in 2007. However, a stress-related back injury delayed his senior debut until round 22, 2008. Another back problem in early 2009 kept him out of the Demons' side until round seven that season. Grimes also suffered a serious foot injury in early 2011, ending his season early. However, he has played 55 of a possible 66 games since the start of 2012.

Sam Blease
The speedy winger suffered a badly broken leg during a game of kick-to-kick at school in 2009, having been selected by the Demons at pick No.17 the previous year. He did not make his senior debut until 2011 and failed to hit the heights expected of a first-round draftee in his subsequent three seasons at Melbourne. Now a Geelong player after crossing as a delisted free agent.

James Strauss
A shoulder reconstruction prematurely ended Strauss' first season in 2009 after he was drafted at No.19 the previous year. It took until his third season, 2011, for the defender to hit his straps but a sickening leg break in 2011 sidelined him for almost a season. He never regained his earlier good form and was delisted at the end of 2014, having failed to play a senior match that season.

Jesse Hogan
The boom key forward was taken as a 17-year-old with the second pick of the GWS mini-draft at the end of 2012. Ineligible to play AFL in 2013, he dominated the VFL, winning the Casey Scorpions' best and fairest aged 18. However, a back injury the off-season ultimately ruled him out of all but one VFL game late in the 2014 season as the Demons sought to protect their prized asset.

- with Michael Rogers