Rochester forward Grant Weeks isn't expected to be sidelined for long after a MRI scan cleared him of any serious damage to his knee.By Marc McGowan
Superstar Rochester forward Grant Weeks’ knee injury is not as bad as first feared and he could yet return to the field before finals.
Weeks sustained the injury in the second quarter of the Tigers’ 29-point win over Tatura on Saturday and hobbled off after initially trying to stay on the field.
He thought he suffered a tear in the medial ligament in his right knee, but an MRI scan yesterday revealed no structural damage.
Rochester coach Peter White said it was good news for his club and Weeks may only miss Saturday night’s clash with top side Kyabram.
‘‘There is no structural damage at all and it’s something only very minor, so the way I’m taking it is the medial ligament is all in place,’’ White said.
‘‘There’s no tear there .
White, whose fourth-placed side has won five straight matches, said he feared his boom recruit would be lost for the rest of the season.
‘‘I was worried,’’ he said.
‘‘When he rang only about half an hour ago, his name came up and I was like, ‘What’s this going to be?’, because it could have been gone for the year — that’s your worst scenario — and it could have been just a couple of weeks.’’
White said it was likely Weeks would at least be ready for the opening week of finals.
It would have been a cruel setback for Weeks, who missed round one and was restricted for significantly longer with an ankle problem.
He returned to top form in recent times and kicked seven goals or more in four of his past seven matches before Saturday’s injury.
Weeks already had three majors to his name before leaving the game.
Tigers defender Brayden Dorrington, who hurt his ribs in the same match, looks set to miss the final two home-and-away rounds.
Dorrington has taken this week off work to hasten his recovery.
White was looking forward to the major test against the Bombers and said Rochester was playing its best football in his two years in charge of the club.
The Tigers have not lost since a second-half fadeout to Seymour in round 11.
‘‘The disappointing part that day against Seymour was more our last quarter lack of effort,’’ White said.
‘‘We smashed them out of the middle and the stats presented our way with inside 50s, but what I hadn’t seen before (was the lack of effort) and we played really dumb footy, too.
‘‘But we’ve had a lot of communication between us all and turned it around and slowly built from there.’’
White, Kyabram’s 1996 premiership coach, said the win which started the streak, over Mansfield, was the turning point.
Fourteen of Rochester’s winning 21 on Saturday played at least one under-18s match for the club, with fellow junior products Nathan McCarty and Ben McPhee to return.
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