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AFL: The Injuries Killing Your Club

The injuries knocking out the league's best, plus Tom Hawkins' fall from the sky.

It’s been a brutal AFL season injury wise, but round 20 ended up being one of the worst yet. A number of big name players for teams in the hunt for the eight are out with serious injury concerns.

Paul Chapman was a late withdrawal due to soreness ahead of Geelong’s clash with West Coast on Friday night, but the Cats received their worst news when star forward Tom Hawkins hit the deck hard and left with a concussion during the first quarter. Hawkins had been in blistering form, which looked to continue when he kicked an early goal, but as a result may miss this week’s huge clash with St Kilda.

St Kilda lost Nick Riewoldt when he also went down with a knee injury in the first quarter of the club’s clash with Melbourne. A scan revealed there is no major damage to the knee, but he has hurt an important tendon. Riewoldt is expected to miss at least the next week, with the rest of the home and away season also being a possibility.

A bizarre injury hindered Fremantle’s efforts of knocking off Adelaide at AAMI Stadium when star midfielder Nat Fyfe, two weeks returned from a serious shoulder injury, rolled his ankle in his hotel room prior to the game. Fyfe is a chance to play in Saturday’s huge clash with Richmond in Perth. Chris Mayne also went down after receiving a hard knock to the head.

Gold Coast’s Andrew Swallow’s season is over after another injury and Israel Folau had to be subbed out of the game in the third quarter due to a rib injury.

Collingwood’s winning ways continued with an eight-point win over Sydney, but it came at the expense of one of their stars. Dale Thomas suffered a knee injury and couldn’t go on further than the second quarter when he was replaced by Alan Didak as the sub.

Goal sneak Eddie Betts was subbed out in the fourth quarter of Carlton’s win over Brisbane with a calf injury. Carlton faces Essendon, a game that both sides need to win to stay in contention for a finals spot, and the Bombers will benefit from the return of a few stars. Paddy Ryder, Brent Stanton and David Zaharakis are all set to play after stints on the side lines with soft tissue injuries.

The Hawks are saying there is a good chance star Buddy Franklin will return this week, but there are conflicting reports out there on the accuracy of this call. To make matters worse, another star goal kicker, Cyril Rioli, may miss time with a shoulder injury. Expect him to miss two to three weeks. Defender Josh Gibson hurt his ankle and will be assessed during the week.

North Melbourne was decimated on Sunday against Essendon. Leigh Adams and Daniel Wells were done for good before the first quarter had concluded and Nathan Grima was unable to finish the game with a hamstring problem. Adams will miss the remainder of the season after scans confirmed his shoulder will need surgery.