Social media has been inundated with well wishes for AFL veteran Dale Morris over a “shattering” injury that could ruin his season.
A year after the anterior cruciate ligament rupture that threatened to end his AFL career, Western Bulldogs ironman Morris has suffered the same injury in the other knee.
In a massive blow for the Bulldogs a week out from the start of the season, Morris hyperextended his left knee during Friday morning training.
The extent of the injury is unclear, including whether he will need a reconstruction.
It is understood that Morris will meet with a specialist on Saturday to discuss what to do next.
Fearing the worst, fans have taken to social media to convey their disappointment for the highly respected star.
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) March 15, 2019
Shattering news about Dale Morris and his ACL knee injury. You'd still think he'd be an outside chance for Round 1 based on his history.
— Adam White (@White_Adam) March 15, 2019
Dale Morris 😢😢😢
One of the greatest Bulldogs players ever
Hope it’s not what we expect
— Mick Le Grand (@MickLeGrand1) March 15, 2019
ACL ‘injury’for Dale Morris, Dogs don’t say if it’s torn though. Still Shattering https://t.co/iU37GkxCWS
— Adam Curley (@AdamCurleyMedia) March 15, 2019
— Roger Vaughan (@rogvaughan) March 15, 2019
“If there was a player or an athlete that could return at his age … from an injury like this it is Dale Morris."
But the @westernbulldogs are “not overly optimistic” about Dale Morris' latest cruel blow.
— SuperFooty (AFL) (@superfooty) March 15, 2019
Sad to hear Dale Morris has ruptured his ACL. What a great player and seems like a decent bloke, too.
— Kingy (@tom_king79) March 15, 2019
— JoeAvo (@JoeAvo) March 15, 2019
Even if Morris needs a reconstruction, Collingwood defender Tyson Goldsack has shown that there can be light at the end of the tunnel for him this season.
Reconstructions usually are season-ending, but Goldsack also tore his ACL about this time last year.
The Magpies veteran thoroughly researched his rehabilitation and made a speedy recovery, returning in time for their finals campaign.
Morris already was renowned as one of the AFL’s toughest and most durable players when he had a partial rupture of his right ACL in the pre-season a year ago.
He remarkably returned to the team mid-season without any surgery and played 11 games.
“It is a devastating blow for the Bulldogs’ veteran on the eve of the 2019 season, after he completed a full pre-season and played a key role in the club’s two (pre-season) matches,” the Bulldogs said of his new injury.
The 36-year-old key defender has played 252 senior games and last August he signed a one-year contract extension.
He remains a crucial member of the Bulldogs’ defence.
Morris broke his leg in 2011 and famously played with a broken back during the Bulldogs’ historic 2016 finals series.
He ran down Sydney star Lance Franklin in a crucial moment during the last quarter of the 2016 grand final and was one of the heroes of the Bulldogs’ drought-breaking premiership.
Morris has had nine broken bones during his career, including two during 2017.