HAWTHORN defender James Frawley will miss at least four weeks after dislocating his left shoulder but must now decide whether he defers inevitable reconstructive surgery in an attempt to play out the season, leading sports medico Dr Peter Larkins says.
Frawley dislocated his shoulder in the second quarter of Hawthorn's win over Essendon on Saturday and took no further part in the game.
Larkins told AFL.com.au that clubs recently had leant towards booking injured players in for immediate shoulder reconstructions, but Frawley was seeking the advice of surgeons before making a decision.
"Ultimately James is going to need surgery to correct the looseness in his shoulder, but he could decide to first try to get the soreness and swelling down over a few weeks – and a few can be four to six weeks – and get back on the field with strapping," Larkins said.
"Over the past couple of seasons, clubs have been swinging back to getting the shoulder fixed rather than risking the player having the shoulder come out again, which happened with Nathan Brown at Collingwood last year.
"We also saw Dale Thomas this year come back and play a couple of weeks after dislocating his shoulder, but he didn't have confidence in it and now has had the surgery.
"So the real dilemma for the Hawks is whether they run the risk of James dislocating his shoulder again by coming back to play, or whether they just get it fixed.
"It's a pretty high gamble to run, and most clubs that have done that have not gotten away with it."
Essendon announced on Monday that forward Jake Carlisle would miss four to six weeks after injuring his right ankle when his legs were twisted in a Jarryd Roughead tackle in the dying seconds of the Hawthorn loss.
In addition to suffering a syndesmosis ligament strain of the ankle, Larkins said Carlisle had also aggravated his troublesome right knee in the incident.
"Jake has had chronic problems with his right knee. He's been carrying patella tendon problems and they were jarred in the tackle by Roughead," Larkins said.
"His knee swelled up after the game."
Larkins said star Adelaide midfielder Rory Sloane would probably need surgery to fix the left cheekbone he broke for the second time this year in the Crows' win over the Brisbane Lions on Saturday night.
Sloane first broke his cheekbone against Gold Coast in round six. He did not require surgery then and returned after three weeks on the sidelines.
"It's likely that Rory will have surgery this time because it's a second break and it looks like the cheekbone is out of position," Larkins said.
"At the moment the decision is whether he has a plate inserted to fix the fracture, which would mean he'd miss more time than he did first time around, probably five to six weeks."
Larkins said young Adelaide midfielder Brad Crouch's season could be over after he experienced soreness in his troublesome left foot in the SANFL on the weekend.
Crouch fractured the fifth metatarsal in his foot in this year's NAB Challenge and Larkins said if that fracture had not completely healed the Crow would not play again this year.
"As far as the foot goes, a fifth metatarsal or Jones fracture is the worst fracture behind the navicular," he said.
"Brad had a screw put in to hold the bone together. He's been back playing at SANFL level but has developed soreness in the same area.
"This is a bad sign because it usually means that the fracture hasn't completely healed up and they're notorious for not healing.
"If the fracture has opened up, he'll miss the rest of the year."
Third-year Carlton forward Troy Menzel was substituted out of the Blues' win over Gold Coast on Sunday after injuring the right knee that he had reconstructed with a LARS ligament in 2011.
Larkins said Menzel was having scans on his knee on Monday, with Carlton hoping he had suffered bone bruising and had not damaged his LARS ligament.
"Troy has had a couple of setbacks previously where the knee's been sore and swollen and each time Carlton has thought the LARS ligament is still holding together," Larkins said.
"Troy jarred the knee on Sunday and he has bone bruising. The Blues are looking to see how much bone bruising he's got on the scan, but he's probably looking at at least two weeks on the sidelines.
"At this stage they're not saying whether they think the LARS has been damaged or not.
"It doesn't augur well that he keeps having problems with the LARS knee, and three to four years of AFL football out of a LARS ligament is probably as good as you get."
Larkins also said:
- Charlie Dixon was in doubt for Gold Coast's clash against North Melbourne on Saturday after injuring his troublesome left ankle when he collided with the boundary fence in the Suns' loss to Carlton. Gold Coast is hoping treatment can reduce the swelling in the joint enough to allow him to take on the Roos.
- Brisbane Lion Pearce Hanley is likely to miss at least one week with a hamstring injury, with scans expected to reveal a minor strain.
- Luckless Magpie Ben Reid will be carefully monitored after experiencing calf tightness in the VFL on the weekend. Collingwood said the key-position player suffered nothing more than a cramp, but he had precautionary scans on Monday to rule out another soft-tissue injury.
- Hawks forward Luke Breust sprained his right elbow during the win over Essendon and had a lot of nerve pain. He will need treatment this week but will be in the mix to play with strapping against Collingwood on Friday night.
- Essendon captain Jobe Watson suffered a minor AC strain in a heavy collision with Hawk Taylor Duryea, but with treatment this week could be right to play against St Kilda on Sunday with strapping.
Fellow Bomber Dustin Fletcher has been managing chronic groin soreness over the past few weeks and won't play against the Saints. The Dons think he'll be able to do some rehab work this week and could be fit for round 15.
- One of Hawthorn's leading candidates to replace Frawley, Matt Spangher suffered an ankle ligament injury in the VFL on the weekend that is likely to sideline him for at least one week.
- Carlton defender Sam Docherty finished Sunday's win over Gold Coast with hamstring soreness, with scans likely to reveal a minor strain that will sideline him for a short time.
- St Kilda veteran Sam Fisher injured a disc in his back doing domestic duties at home before Saturday night's loss to the Western Bulldogs. Given his hamstring troubles this year, Fisher is in doubt for Sunday's clash against Essendon.