TALENTED South Australian draft hopeful Kaine Baldwin has suffered another season-ending knee injury that will see him miss the rest of 2020.
Just as football had returned following the COVID-19 break, the 18-year-old went down with another anterior cruciate ligament tear playing in a Glenelg trial game last weekend.
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Baldwin missed most of last year after undergoing a knee reconstruction at the start of the season but had shaped as an exciting prospect in this year's pool given his athleticism and ability in attack.
Because the recent injury was not a full tear of the same right ACL, the 194cm goalkicker will undergo a surgery process that has a recovery period of about six months which will give clubs a strong update on his progress by October's proposed NAB AFL Draft Combine.
Although his knee buckled as he went to shepherd an opponent, Baldwin's surgeon has assessed that the new injury is not related to last year's tear.
It will leave recruiters needing to scour back to under-16s level to have watched Baldwin in action, when he led South Australia to its NAB AFL Under-16s Championships title.
He is not the only talented teenager to have undergone a knee reconstruction ahead of this year's draft, with potential top-five pick Elijah Hollands also recovering from the knee injury he suffered in February.