NEW COLLINGWOOD key forward Nathan Kreuger is expected to undergo shoulder surgery and miss the rest of the season after suffering another subluxation on Anzac Day.
The 22-year-old had endured a frustrating start to life at the Magpies, managing only three appearances since crossing from Geelong in October due to concussion, suspension and the shoulder injury he initially sustained against Adelaide in round two.
Kreuger returned for the trip to Queensland to face Brisbane on Easter Thursday after missing two games, with the club electing to opt for rehab and rest rather than surgery as a starting point.
Collingwood coach Craig McRae revealed after the 11-point win over Essendon that the club expects the South Australian to require a reconstruction, in a further blow to the Magpies' attacking arsenal that is already without star forward Jamie Elliott.
"It was the one with 'Kreugs' that we sort of knew (was a possibility of recurring). He'd go out and get strong and give it another go, but unfortunately there was a high percentage that it would happen again," McRae said in his post-match press conference.
"Unfortunately, that’s the case. He'll get scans, but it looks like he'll have an operation and be out for the rest of the year."
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Essendon midfielder Darcy Parish finished the game on the ground despite suffering an ankle injury and will be monitored throughout the week.
The All-Australian backed up his Anzac Day Medal winning performance last year with another dazzling display, this time finishing with 44 disposals – the most ever on Anzac Day – 12 clearances, including seven from the centre square to finish behind Jack Ginnivan in the votes.
"He has a bit of an ankle. I think it got caught and tangled up in a tackle. He came off had it looked at, was good enough to go back on, but we'll need to assess that over the next couple of days and see how it settles down," Essendon coach Ben Rutten said on Monday night.
Ginnivan claimed the Anzac Day Medal as best on ground in only his 10th game after the small forward booted a career-high five goals from 12 touches.
The 19-year-old has been the scrutinised all season since Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes took umbrage with his use of a GoPro after the round one win over St Kilda, becoming a villain since then in the eyes of opposition fans.
Despite rising from anonymity to be one of the more dissected players across the first six rounds of 2022, Ginnivan has relished the spotlight, moving to 11 goals from five appearances.
"I'm just trying to be myself out there. Lucky enough today I had a good game. I'm competitive and I love when people doubt me. It gives me the edge to go out and show them what I've got. That's what I do when people doubt me," Ginnivan told reporters after the win.
"I'm just trying to be myself; whatever people say about me I don’t really care. I know I've got people in my corner supporting me, backing me in, so I'm just trying to be myself. When people doubt me, I feed off it.”
McRae said Ginnivan was one player who stood out from the moment the new coach arrived at the club at the end of last season – along with pressure forward Beau McCreery – with the club wanting the Bendigo product to stay true to himself.
"I'm not saying this because Jack is sitting in front of me, but he is one that really stood out. I could see him and Beau McCreery really wanted an opportunity," McRae said.
"We've been doing a lot of contetst work and Jack wins a lot of his one-on-ones. We've been practicing since October and that was one thing that I saw and his ability to finish.
"We missed him dearly last game. We want him to be himself; we want him to be authentic; we want him to know we've got his back."
Essendon is now 1-5 and moored in the bottom four after starting the season as a side capable of making a deep September run, following an impressive finish to 2021.
Rutten was pleased with the response on Anzac Day after the Bombers were forensically examined by all sections of the football world last week, following a listless fade out against Fremantle at Marvel Stadium.
"Look I thought the way we turned up today and our response from last week, from our second half last week in particular, I was pretty proud of the way we went about our work throughout the week. We reflected really hard and had a look at the areas that we needed to bounce back in," Rutten said.
"I thought for the majority of the day today it was at a pretty good level. From a results point of view, we are disappointed, certainly. We have certainly taken a step forward.
"We're on a journey to get better. Over the course of the season we're going to continue to improve. Not going to be a linear graph. There are going to be some hiccups along the way, which last week was, but we'll just keep continuing to grow our game, move forward and get experiences like today."