SYDNEY – Sydney coach John Longmire had a simple answer to how the reigning AFL premier will handle the six-week absence of Adam Goodes, the club’s most prized talent.
They did it last year and will have to do it again.
Longmire revealed yesterday that Goodes would undergo arthroscopic knee surgery to treat cartilage damage, meaning at least six games out of the team.
The dual Brownlow Medallist was sidelined for seven rounds last year due to a quad injury, but had 11 matches to get ready for the September finals.
This time, it’s a round-21 return that is the best-case scenario for the 33-year-old, which would leave him just three games to find match fitness before the finals.
Goodes was last week upbeat about his chances of missing only one game and returning for the Swans’ clash with Melbourne, but a discussion with club doctor Nathan Gibbs on Friday convinced him otherwise.
In typical no-nonsense fashion, Longmire described the setback as unfortunate.
“Last year, we were pretty competitive with him out and, at some point in your evolution as a footy team, you’ve got to make sure you can cover some of the star players that have carried the load for a long time,” Longmire said.
“Adam has certainly carried a fair load at this footy club for a long time and it’s been good to see the development of other players.
“We’ve seen (Jarrad) McVeigh and Kieren Jack, and others take their game to a new level.
“We can’t just rely on Adam Goodes to win us games of footy.”
Adam Goodes. Picture: Getty Images.
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