THE season of Collingullie-Glenfield Park teenager Matt Kennedy has been rocked by a potentially season-ending knee injury.
Scans on Kennedy’s knee revealed the injury is a lot worse than originally expected and the young gun may not play again this season.
Kennedy has torn his medial ligament, an injury he sustained in the Demons’ loss to Griffith at Exies Oval last Saturday.
Kennedy will now miss the entire under 18 AFL national championships and potentially the rest of the year.
The Mater Dei Catholic College student confirmed the bad news on Thursday.
“It’s not great news, it’s not an ACL but I’ve torn my medial ligament,” Kennedy said.
“It’s not major but it could be anywhere between six weeks, that would really be the minimum, or 12 weeks at a maximum.
“I definitely won’t be playing at nationals.”
Kennedy has long been recognised as an exciting talent in the Riverina but only joined the representative pathway and programs this year.
He joined Greater Western Sydney’s (GWS) Giants’ Academy on the back of a breakout 2014 season where he won a Riverina League senior premiership and was best-on-ground in the interleague fixture.
Kennedy has been quick to catch the eye of AFL talent scouts this year with NSW-ACT Rams in the TAC Cup, averaging 23 possessions and one goal a game.
While disappointed, Kennedy is staying positive.
“That’s footy I guess,” he said.
“It could have been worse.”
Kennedy, 18, has received advice not to return to club football later in the year and risk further injury ahead off the all-important AFL Draft.
“They’re saying I might rest the year out, and that there’s no point rushing back for club footy when I could injure it again,” he said.
“I’ll just see how I go.”
AFL website journalist, and draft expect, Callum Twomey believes Kennedy is a first-round draft prospect.
"He didn’t take long to show recruiters his talents, and has starred in just about every TAC Cup game New South Wales has played so far this season,” Twomey said.
"With his bag of tricks, including his marking ability, smarts near goal and class on both sides of his body, Kennedy ticked many boxes as a first-round draft prospect and many clubs have viewed him as a player who might be taken in the first dozen or so selections.
“The Giants obviously have first rights on Kennedy as a member of their academy zone, but there are many other clubs who see him as a likely – and worthy – early draft choice come the end of the year.”
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