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Shoulder blow for top draft prospect Paddy Dow

AFL 2017 U18 Championships - Vic C v SA
Leading prospect Paddy Dow

TOP DRAFT prospect Paddy Dow might not play again this year after suffering a shoulder injury in his best-on-ground effort last weekend.

The potential No.1 pick has been ruled out of the Bendigo Pioneers clash with the Oakleigh Chargers on Saturday and will require further scans next week to see if surgery is required.

Dow played through the injury to gather 35 disposals, seven inside-50s, six clearances and kick two goals last weekend for the Pioneers to further press his claims as a likely early selection at November's draft. 

"He had an incident in last week's game and has been scanned since," the AFL Academies' high performance manager Paul Sealey said.

"He's got full mobility in the shoulder, but it's been referred and we'll have more information next week."
The best-case scenario for Dow would be a 2-3 week rehabilitation program that sees him available for the NAB AFL All Stars game in Grand Final week.

But surgery could also be an option if scan results are not positive. The Pioneers only have one game left for the home and away season of the TAC Cup after this weekend.

Dow is one of a handful of players in contention to be this year's first pick, alongside Cam Rayner, Luke Davies-Uniacke and Adam Cerra.

He has become a complete midfield prospect this season, showing his burst of speed from stoppages, balancing his inside grunt with outside run and has also shown he can push forward and make a scoreboard impact.

He was named as a midfielder in the NAB AFL Under-18 All Australian side after an impressive carnival for Vic Country's under-18 side.

The loser of the Brisbane Lions and North Melbourne clash on Saturday will claim this year's No.1 pick.