Sydney Swans co-captain Callum Mills is reportedly "no chance" to be ready for round one next season, with new details emerging about how he was injured during Mad Monday celebrations. The Swans confirmed on Tuesday that Mills underwent shoulder surgery last week after injuring himself at post-season drinks.
"Losing players to injury in the off-season is always disappointing," Swans football boss Charlie Gardiner said in a statement on Tuesday. "Callum is our captain and an important member of the squad.
'WHITE WITH FURY': Major uproar over AFL's 'deplorable' move
'DON'T WANT THAT': AFL makes call amid Brownlow Medal controversy
"We are extremely disappointed this injury has occurred. Callum is equally disappointed, as you can imagine, but he is recovering well and will get to work on his rehabilitation immediately."
While the Swans haven't revealed how long Mills will need for recovery, there's reportedly little chance he will be ready for the first game in 2024. Tom Morris of SEN made the staggering claim on Wednesday that Mills had “ruptured his rotator cuff" and "torn it from the bone”, with fears he could miss 9-12 months.
But 'NRL Physio' Brien Seeney hosed down those claims, saying something would have had to go "extremely wrong" for an elite footballer to be out that long with a rotator cuff issue. Seeney said it was more likely Mills would miss a maximum of six months with such an injury.
If a rotator cuff repair takes a top level AFL player 9-12 months to return to play then something has gone extremely wrong. 6 months usually more than enough time https://t.co/kLy3EHzYFK
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) September 27, 2023
Callum Mills no chance of playing in round one next year
Fellow SEN reporter Sam Edmund provided new details on Wednesday, reporting: “This is going to be a big story as it unfolds. It’s a disaster. This is a serious shoulder injury for Callum Mills.
“Definitely going to miss round one and I’m told if this (had happened in) March, he most likely wouldn’t play for the year. They’re in an establishment in the city of Sydney – a friend of the club, so it’s a private function, no one knows they’re there – and things sort of escalated as they do. There’s a wrestle with a teammate, a few wrestles, the co-captain has got himself into a situation where he’s seriously hurt his shoulder but at the time, I’m told, he’s unaware of the gravity (of his injury).
“The club didn’t know, he didn’t know for several more days after that the seriousness of it. They’ve gone in, got it checked out … and it’s a serious shoulder injury for the co-captain of the club in a setting that you certainly wouldn’t expect something like that to happen of this severity.
“This is why Charlie Gardner obviously has used words like ‘extremely disappointed’, because it’s rocked the club and it seriously upset the club too. He’s had that operation last week, he’s now in rehab and it’s going to be a long rehab.”
Morris reported the injury occurred in a wrestle with Jacob Konstanty. Unfortunately for Mills it's not the first injury he's suffered in bizarre circumstances. He missed most of the 2018 season after breaking his foot when he tripped and fell while throwing an American football with teammates on the way back from a cafe.
The 26-year-old has played 155 games since debuting in 2016. Sydney finished eight this year and were knocked out in the first week of the finals by Carlton.
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.