CARLTON defender Nic Newman will miss the rest of the 2020 season after suffering a gruesome knee injury in the early stages of his side's narrow loss to Melbourne on Saturday.
The Blues have confirmed that Newman ruptured his patella tendon after landing awkwardly following a marking contest in the dying stages of the first term, immediately writhing in pain before being helped from the field on a stretcher after a long delay.
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The injury came after Carlton conceded the first seven goals to trail by 42 points at one stage during its heartbreaking loss to Melbourne, before rallying back to only lose by one solitary point.
Newman had already endured one significant injury this season, dislocating his elbow during the club's season-opening loss to Richmond in March.
He underwent surgery to repair the injured elbow, not missing any football thanks to the game's three-month suspension period due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the latest significant injury setback will sideline the important running defender for the remainder of the 2020 season.
"His work rate and professionalism is second-to-none. While this is a significant injury, we have full confidence that Newy’s approach to his rehab will be first-class and we look forward to seeing him back to his best in 2021," Carlton footy boss Brad Lloyd said on Sunday.
Blues coach David Teague said after the match that Newman's injury hadn't necessarily hurt the Blues on the day, given their stirring comeback, but the defender's loss would be keenly felt for the rest of the year.
"It's really disappointing for him. He had the elbow in round one, did all the work and he's really stepped up his purpose within his training. He's become a really important player for us," Teague said.
"I'm not sure what the outcome is at the moment, but hopefully we can get it right and get him back out there whenever that is."
Meanwhile, having had its blushes spared by a late Bayley Fritsch behind after seeing its early 42-point lead evaporate, Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said the side's hot start was a demonstration of how good it can be when everything is clicking.
The Demons kicked the game's first seven unanswered goals to establish a 42-point lead, before being forced to withhold a dramatic late fightback from the Blues in order to secure their first win of the season.
"We'll take the victory," Goodwin said.
"There are some great learnings in it for us as a club about how good we can be and then the things we've got to keep working at.
"I loved our contest early. I thought it was as hot as it has been for a long time and as dynamic as it has been.
"I also loved the way we defended. That came on the back of some really good connection forward of centre, but our stability in the way we defended early and our strength around the ball was evident.
"It was the Melbourne that we're used to seeing and it's really exciting for our supporters."