Step one in solving a problem is admitting you have one in the first place. The GWS Giants have done just that.
Highly-rated midfielder Will Setterfield is set to miss Greater Western Sydney’s entire 2018 AFL campaign after scans confirmed a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Setterfield, 20, suffered the serious knee injury during the Giants’ practice match against crosstown rivals Sydney on Friday.
It continued a luckless run for the 2016 No.5 draft pick, who played only two senior games last year after suffering an early-season ankle injury.
Setterfield had a strong pre-season and was among the Giants best in Friday’s game at Sydney’s Henson Park before being injured in the third quarter.
“This is a disappointing setback for Will who hadn’t put a foot wrong through the pre-season,” said David Joyce, the Giants’ head of athletic performance.
“We’ll consult with the surgeon in the coming days before mapping out a suitable rehabilitation program for Will.
“He’s a terrific young man and he’s got the full support of everyone at the Giants behind him.”
It’s a second significant pre-season casualty for GWS, who were hit hard last year by a series of long-term injuries.
Dashing defender Zac Williams suffered a ruptured achilles tendon last month and is unlikely to play much, if any, of the coming campaign.
On the bright side, veteran Ryan Griffen, who played just three senior games in 2017 because of ankle injuries, looked sharp against Sydney.
Giants’ midfield coach Lenny Hayes confirmed ’31-year-old Griffen was a candidate to fill one of the half back vacancies caused by Williams’s injury and the departure to Fremantle of Nathan Wilson.
“He’s definitely an option for us,” Hayes said.
The Giants commence their official pre-season match program on Thursday night against Collingwood at UNSW Canberra Oval.