ADELAIDE'S worst fears have been realised with scans confirming a ruptured ACL to star defender Tom Doedee that will rule him out for the rest of 2019.
Last year's NAB AFL Rising Star runner-up, Doedee's left knee buckled in a tackle during the second term of Saturday's loss to Hawthorn.
After being assessed in the rooms, Doedee emerged fully expecting his season to be over.
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"He is the ultimate professional and no doubt the way he will tackle his rehabilitation to prepare for the 2020 season will be no different," Crows head of football Brett Burton said on Sunday.
"We will continue to support Tom and provide him with everything he needs."
The 22-year-old remained in positive spirits on Saturday night when speaking to the club's website.
"I just felt it pop, ran down to the pocket and thought I might go off and see how it is and they thought the worst," Doedee said.
"Like (Alex) Rance said the other night, I'm similar here. I've got a great club, a great culture and a great supportive family and a beautiful partner who will help me out."
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Thankyou all for the well wishes and support. I’m incredibly lucky to have so many beautiful people in my life and apologies if I haven’t replied, has been an overwhelming amount of messages! I know the next 12 months will be tough but I know I won’t be alone. From the players, coaches and staff at AFC to my family, friends and Em I know I’ll be supported both at the club and at home. As much as I’ll just want to binge Netflix series and NFL shows, I’ll use this time to study, help out coaching, develop as a leader and as a person and continue to support those who’ve supported me. In the end, there’s plenty of people going through worse than me in the world at the moment. Life will go on, my knee will heal and I’ll be back better than ever Thanks again for all the love ❤️
Coach Don Pyke said it was a blow for an emerging player.
"(He's a) guy who had an outstanding season last year and we feel for him and we'll get around him as footy clubs do; look after our own," Pyke said.
"We start the season with high hopes and we lose a player of Tom's ability, and a great player that people love watching play, but we'll have to find someone to replace him."
Pyke highlighted Kyle Hartigan and Andy Otten as possible replacements after narrowly missing selection for round one.
Veteran midfielder Richard Douglas will join Doedee in the medical rooms after hopping off the ground in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.
The 32-year-old sustained a syndesmosis injury to his right foot – the same injury that sidelined him last year.
He was set to undergo scans on Sunday, but it could be mid-week before the seriousness of the sprain is known.
Meantime Pyke was philosophical about the loss.
"It was a disappointing and frustrating way to start but the reality for us is we've got six days to Sydney so we can't dwell on this for too long; we've actually got to take it in context," he said.
"We'll attack round two – we've lost four points, we'll be one of the teams that's 0-1 but we've got another chance next week to win four points.
"Credit to Hawthorn they put some really good pressure on our guys, I just thought our ball use overall, probably from the start all the way to the finish, was just not the level that's going to allow yourself to create the opportunities you need to put a score on the board."
Brett Burton accompanies an injured Tom Doedee on to Adelaide Oval. Picture: AFL Photos