Suns AFL co-captain Witts ruptures ACL

·2-min read

There will be no "woe is me" attitude on the Gold Coast despite co-captain Jarrod Witts' season-ending knee injury leaving the AFL club scrambling for ruck reinforcements.

Witts came from the ground in the third quarter of Friday night's loss to Adelaide after his left knee became trapped in an awkward position following up from a centre bounce.

Scans confirmed an anterior cruciate ligament rupture, with Witts to miss the rest of the season after having played every game between 2018 and 2020.

Witts' injury leaves Gold Coast with a ruck conundrum ahead of Saturday's clash with Carlton, as back-up Zac Smith (knee) won't be fit for at least another month.

Untried 20-year-old Matt Conroy is the only other genuine ruckman on Gold Coast's list after ruck-forward Peter Wright was traded to Essendon last year.

But Conroy is also out for the year with an ACL injury while fellow tall Sam Day is sidelined until late in the season with a knee issue.

Asked who was left, Suns football boss Jon Haines said defender Caleb Graham presented as an option at the centre bounce given he "spent some time in the ruck" at under-18 level.

Alternatively, Chris Burgess and Hugh Greenwood could again be called on to pinch hit as they did against the Crows if coach Stuart Dew decides to replace Witts with a smaller midfielder.

Haines also said the position would become a focus in June's mid-season draft.

"It's going to be an opportunity for someone else to step into that role and also for the team to step up and fill the void that he leaves," Haines said.

"We're confident we have the players and the mindset to be able to handle whatever gets thrown at us - there certainly isn't a 'woe is me' attitude."

In other injury news, defender Connor Budarick had surgery on his ruptured ACL last week.

And recruit Jacob Townsend will miss five to six weeks after having surgery on a facial fracture,