MELBOURNE youngster Aaron Nietschke has suffered the cruellest of blows, succumbing to a second ACL injury in his first year at the club.
The 19-year-old, who initially ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in February, re-injured the same knee at training on Friday morning.
“Unfortunately, scans have confirmed that Aaron has ruptured his ACL graft, which will likely sideline him for the 2020 season,” General Manager of Football Operations Josh Mahoney told Melbourne Media.
“This is obviously incredibly disappointing news for Aaron and the whole team.
“He had really attacked his rehab and was in great shape prior to this incident.”
Nietschke was recruited by the Dees with pick No.53 in the 2018 National Draft and hasn’t had luck on his side to this point of his career.
While it’s undoubtedly an incredibly tough time for the South Australian, Mahoney says he will continue to receive plenty of support throughout his recovery.
“He’s a good young character who has shown a lot of resilience during his first year at the club and we have no doubt he will get through this again, giving himself the best chance to be available for our AFL team,” he said.
“It’s really unfortunate that Aaron hasn’t had the chance to play any footy since joining the club, but we will continue to support him in his rehab and look forward to seeing him at his best in the future.”
As a show of faith, Melbourne has declared it will extend Nietschke’s contract beyond next year to give him a chance to prove himself at senior level.