A DEVASTATED and deeply remorseful Callum Mills has addressed the 'Mad Monday' incident that may sideline him for the first half of the 2024 season and potentially impact his position as captain.
The 26-year-old fronted the media sporting a heavy shoulder sling from the torn rotator cuff he suffered while playfully wrestling with youngster Jacob Konstanty during the Swans’ end of season celebrations last week.
He has undergone surgery, which can typically lead to a nine to twelve-month stint on the sidelines, an outcome that is clearly causing Mills emotional distress.
'EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED' Swans react to Mills injury
"I want to firstly show my remorse and apologise to the club, my coaches, the board, my teammates and especially the Swans supporters. I made a bad mistake, put myself at risk and I take full responsibility," he said.
"I'm obviously extremely disappointed and this is not a reflection of the captain I aspire to be and I'm gutted that this will put the start of my season at risk.
"One thing I do want to assure people is that I'm doing everything I possibly can to get back as soon as possible."
Just when the Swans' 2022 Club Champion will be available to return is unclear, but unless he recovers ahead of schedule, it is possible he may not feature until the midway point of the 2024 campaign.
"We're not sure yet, there’s a window we've been given but the likelihood is it may impact the start of the season, but there’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge. We’ll get the best advice and go on surgeon and specialist advice," he said.
There have been calls for Mills to either stand down or have the co-captaincy he currently shares with Luke Parker and Dane Rampe stripped of him in the wake of the incident, as accidental as it may have been.
The Swans academy product says those talks are still to take place, but he delivered a passionate message on what the captaincy means to him.
"I think that’s a discussion for the club to have," he said.
"We haven't had those discussions, but what I will say is I absolutely love leading this club. It's something I hold dear to my heart and it’s something I love doing and it's a position I don't hold for granted."
The injury is the second innocuous off-field incident to sideline Mills for a lengthy period after he tripped over a gutter while catching a gridiron ball in 2018, which ruled him out for over three months.
He said he immediately fronted coach John Longmire last Thursday morning after receiving the scans the night before for what was an understandably difficult discussion.
"It was extremely hard. As soon as I got the results I went into 'Horse's' (Longmire) office and, as you can imagine, he was extremely disappointed as am I in myself," Mills said.