'Awful news': AFL world rocked by 'horrible' Matt Rowell injury

Matt Rowell, pictured here leaving the field with Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew.
Matt Rowell leaves the field with Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Gold Coast Suns are cautiously optimistic that Matt Rowell has avoided a season-ending injury after fans were left gutted by the young gun's latest setback.

The 19-year-old injured his left knee in the opening quarter of Sunday's 25-point loss to West Coast when he was tackled from behind by Zac Langdon.

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The force and momentum of the tackle meant Rowell's left knee bore the brunt of his fall, and he immediately headed to the change rooms for further assessment.

Rowell was subbed out of the game at quarter time, and he was later seen on crutches and wearing a big knee brace.

However Suns coach Stuart Dew said the injury looks to be more like a posterior cruciate ligament issue rather than a dreaded anterior cruciate ligament tear.

"We don't think it is season-ending at this stage," Dew said.

"But having said that, I am certainly not a doctor. We need to get some scans tomorrow or the next day when we get back to the Gold Coast.

"We're shattered for the lad. We want to see the best players playing and he's one of our best. He has done so much work.

"To see him go down and have to put a brave face on again, your heart goes out to him. We'll wrap our arms around him, reload and go again."

Matt Rowell, pictured here being injured in a tackle by Zac Langdon.
Matt Rowell was injured in a tackle by Zac Langdon. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

AFL world devastated over Matt Rowell injury

Rowell was playing his first AFL match since suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in round five last year.

The first four games of his AFL career had been so stunning that he was even being talked up as a possible Brownlow medal contender before the shoulder injury ended his debut campaign.

After suffering the knee injury against West Coast on Sunday, Rowell bravely continued to support his teammates from the sidelines, and even came out for a team huddle at three-quarter time.

"He is so unselfish, he put on a brave face," Dew said.

"He is all about the club, all about the team. He loves the club, we give him the love back.

"He's going to get through this. He loves the game more than anyone we have ever witnessed. It's a big statement, but it's true.

"It's sad for him, but there are worse people off in the world, he knows that. We haven't seen the end of him."

Fans were left gutted by the devastating scenes.

with AAP

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