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AFL NEWS: Grundy facing long term absence, Fyfe return prediction, McKay's bro blow

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26th April, 2022
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Brodie Grundy could be sidelined for up to three months with a serious knee injury suffered in the Anzac Day clash with the Bombers.

SEN reported Collingwood were bracing to be without their star ruckman, who has suspected PCL damage, for 10-12 weeks.

Grundy had 16 disposal and 33 hitouts on the weekend but suffered the knock in the third quarter.

SEN reported his absence now puts enormous responsibility on out-of-contract big man Darcy Cameron, who will have to assume the No.1 ruck role. Mason Cox could also be set for recall.

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McKay’s one game ban

North Melbourne’s Ben McKay is set to miss out on playing on twin brother and Carlton spearhead Harry McKay for a seventh consecutive AFL season after receiving a one-match ban for rough conduct.

Kangaroos defender McKay was cited for rough conduct on Geelong’s Rhys Stanley in the fourth quarter of North Melbourne’s 60-point loss to the Cats on Sunday.

Match review officer Michael Christian assessed the incident as  careless conduct, medium impact and high contact, which draws a one-match suspension.

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If suspended, McKay would be sorely missed against Carlton on Saturday night, after going toe-to-toe with Geelong’s Tom Hawkins and clunking nine marks, including five contested.

The 24-year-old would be the likely match-up for twin brother and last year’s Coleman Medallist Harry, if not teammate Charlie Curnow.

Harry and Ben McKay were drafted at picks 10 and 21 respectively in the 2015 draft and both debuted in 2017.

Harry has played North Melbourne once in his 73 games while Ben has faced Carlton twice in his 42 appearances, but they have never played each other.

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Saturday is the only time their teams are due to meet this season.

Fyfe timeline set

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir says superstar captain Nat Fyfe is on track to return from injury around round 10 of the AFL season.

Fyfe hasn’t played this season after missing round one, then having surgery to alleviate nerve pressure in his back.

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He suffered the injury in late March during an interrupted pre-season off the back of complications, including a nasty infection, from shoulder reconstruction that prematurely ended his 2021 campaign.

“We think he’ll be back around round 10. In time for Collingwood,” Longmuir said on Fox Footy.

Round 10 is sooner than expected, given on April 14, Longmuir said he was hopeful Fyfe would return a couple of weeks before the mid-season bye, which would have been round 12.

“We quite often talk about how he’s going with his rehab,” he said.

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“When he’s gonna return and along the lines of what sort of position, game time, his way back into the side and whether he needs to play a lower level, and all those sorts of things that come into consideration and spit ball. 

“We’ll work it out closer to his return date, but he’s really improved over the last couple of weeks and he’s on the right trajectory now.”

In Fyfe’s absence, young gun Andrew Brayshaw has continued to take his game to another level, starring to lead the Dockers to second on the ladder and five wins from six games.

“He’s flying and he’s built his game to become a really strong inside/outside player,” Longmuir said.

“(He had) 29 possessions and nine score involvements on the weekend but he was most proud of his eight tackles and a couple of those tackles were goal-saving tackles. 

“He’s doing it the right way. He’s a real connector within our playing group. 

“He’s the connector between all the young players but the young and the old. 

“He’s got a real ability to connect everyone at the footy club and bring others along with him and he’s on a super trajectory at the moment.”

(With AAP)

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