GWS forward Patton’s AFL debut on ice
Hopeful a long AFL career lays ahead of him, injured Greater Western Sydney No.1 draft pick Jonathon Patton doesn’t mind his debut has been put on ice.
The 18-year-old key forward will fly into minus temperature conditions in Sweden for a January 25 appointment with a leading specialist, who will probe his troublesome knee.
He has been diagnosed with patellar tendinopathy or jumper’s knee in his left joint.
The two scenarios are a small operation or continuing rehabilitation, with both likely to keep him sidelined until May as the Giants make their debut in the AFL.
“I’ve got an appointment with the best surgeon in the world so I’m grateful for that opportunity that the Giants have given me,” Patton said at the AFL Players’ Association induction camp in Melbourne for freshmen of the competition.
“I’ll hopefully be back by May so I might miss the first five to seven games but the club sees me as a long-term prospect so, in the big picture, it’s not that big of a disappointment.”
He didn’t realise the extent of the injury, believing that it was “just a bit of a sore knee”.
However, he said it wasn’t considered a severe case.
Giants No.2 draft pick Stephen Coniglio, a good mate of Patton’s, also had the problem and was taken to Stockholm earlier this year to be assessed by the same specialist.
Coniglio had responded well and was on track to be available for selection for the start of the season.
Already an imposing figure at 197cm and 100kg, Patton – who has been likened to Brisbane triple-premiership forward Jonathan Brown – said his only goal for his first season was to make his senior debut.
“I’m not expecting to play 10 games. I just want to go out there and help the boys as much as I can and get some experience.”
The Giants open their AFL competition account on March 24 against their cross-town rivals, the Sydney Swans.© AAP 2013
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