Tom Doedee in 'heartbreaking' Brisbane development ahead of long-awaited AFL return

Doedee was set play his first game in months in Thursday night's AFL grand final rematch.

The Brisbane Lions have been left shattered for recruit Tom Doedee after news the luckless star has torn his anterior cruciate ligament for a third time. The cruel development comes as Doedee looked set to make his comeback for the Lions in Thursday night's AFL grand final rematch against Collingwood.

The 27-year-old had firmed to come into Brisbane's side for Thursday night's Gabba blockbuster against the Magpies after making a successful return to footy in the VFL last weekend. The hit-out for Doedee was the former Adelaide star's first competitive match for 10 months since a second rupture of his ACL in 2023.

The Brisbane Lions have been shattered by the news recruit Tom Doedee has suffered the third ACL tear of his AFL career. Pic: AFL
The Brisbane Lions have been shattered by the news recruit Tom Doedee has suffered the third ACL tear of his AFL career. Pic: AFL

Brisbane were hoping Doedee would provide some defensive reinforcement for the huge Collingwood clash, following injuries to fellow backs Keidean Coleman and Conor McKenna. But an "innocuous" incident in the final moments of Tuesday's training session saw Doedee suffer his third ACL tear, meaning he may now require surgery and faces another lengthy stint on the sidelines.

“It’s incredibly heartbreaking for Tom, and everyone at the club is really feeling for him,” Lions footy boss Danny Daly said. “Sport can produce some of the most amazing moments, but in cases like this it can also be extremely cruel.

“Tom is a fantastic person who has already become a highly popular member of our club, and everyone was excited to see him so close to making his comeback. He has shown he is the ultimate professional by doing everything he could to recover from his ACL, which we have all admired, and I have no doubt he will treat this injury the same. Everyone at the Brisbane Lions will continue to give our full support to Tom and his family.”

Brisbane co-captain Lachie Neale said he and the rest of Brisbane's squad were shattered for Doedee after his latest injury heartbreak. “It’s horrible news for the footy club, but more so for Tom and his family,” Neale said on SEN Breakfast. “He’s worked so hard to put himself in this position to be right to go for tomorrow night and it sort of came crashing down.


“I didn’t know he’d done it until Tuesday night. It looked pretty innocuous. I spoke to him after training and he said he was a little bit sore. He went and had some scans and the results weren’t great. We’re all really feeling for him. He’s a great character though, and he’ll bounce back. He’s a wonderful person to have around the club.”

Seen here, Tom Doedee injured while playing for the Adelaide Crows in 2023.
Tom Doedee suffered his second ACL tear for the Adelaide Crows in 2023. Pic: Getty

AFL world gutted for Tom Doedee after latest cruel blow

Doedee is now set to consult a surgeon to determine his best course of action. The Lions copped a brutal opening-round blow when they squandered to be pipped by Carlton in a one-point thriller. Coleman's own ACL tear compounded the pain for the Lions, who were then outplayed in Perth by Fremantle and now face a desperate Collingwood side also chasing its first win of the season.

Doedee said before suffering his latest ACL injury that he'd spent time talking with teammates Coleman and Will Ashcroft, who have both experienced the same injury. “I try not to be the one that talks too much, and more listen, because the worst thing when you do your knee is everyone comes up to you and tells you their story,” he said earlier this week.

“They mean well but sometimes that’s the last thing you want to hear, so I was just trying to give little bits of advice, especially early days (when) you can really set the foundation for your comeback. With ‘Kiddy’, I went over and visited him and just brought some gifts and tried to take his mind off it for a little bit, and then with Will, we’ve just been in constant chat week in, week out because he’s gone a little bit up and down at times."

with AAP