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Swan's foot injury 'like a car crash', says sports medico

Ben Guthrie  March 30, 2016 7:03 PM

AFL 2016 Rd 01 - Sydney v Collingwood

Dane Swan will need a 'miracle' to return to AFL action this year, according to a podiatrist Craig Plumridge

He has been very vocal about having a life after football and he won't want to mortgage that

THE LISFRANC joint injury Dane Swan suffered against the Sydney Swans is typically seen in car crash victims, according to a leading sports podiatrist. 

Craig Plumridge, from Pro Feet Podiatry, told AFL.com.au that the foot and leg injuries the star Pie sustained in the first quarter of Saturday night's match at the SCG were incredibly severe. 

"Most of the clients who come into our clinic with that kind of injury have been in a car or motorcycle accident," Plumridge said. 

"It's usually a really severe, high-speed impact injury with torque (rotation). 

"The foot is usually fixed on the brake pedal and the inertia pushes the body forward while your foot is stuck on the pedal. 

"What he's had, being in the air and having someone fall on top of him, he has recreated that moment as if it was a car crash."

The 2011 Brownlow medallist's foot became trapped underneath Swans opponent Zak Jones who fell heavily on top of him in the aftermath of a marking contest.

Swan suffered syndesmosis ankle damage in the incident as well as breaking three bones in his foot, including the Lisfranc fracture.

As a result, Plumridge – whose practice specialises in foot, ankle and knee injuries – believes Swan would need to pull off a "miraculous" comeback to return this season, and more likely faces a 12-month recovery period before he is back to full fitness. 

Earlier this month, Swan said he was a "50-50" chance of continuing his career beyond this year, adding that form and how the Magpies performed would determine his playing future. 

"The best thing would be to shut him down for the year and get everything right," Plumridge said.

"Footy is a priority at the moment but long-term he has been very vocal about having a life after football and he won't want to mortgage that. 

"Realistically he'd be aiming at being in full activity some time next year. At best, he'd be coming back into footy drills this year."

The Magpies have spent the past couple of days seeking surgical opinions on the best course of action to take in the procedure Swan will need to undertake to repair the injury. 

If Swan did continue his career beyond 2016 he would have to carry out a diligent rehabilitation to ensure the plates and screws inserted into the mid-part of his foot during surgery do not become stirred up once he returns to training or playing.

"Even with the high ankle sprain/syndesmosis injury, you're looking at 11 weeks to full weight-bearing activity and 13 weeks to get back to jumping and activities like that," Plumridge said.

"Then typically it's five months until a player returns at an amateur level. 

"Compound that with the Lisfranc damage and six months (to return to playing) would be miraculous."