7NEWS Melbourne’s Tom Browne is reporting that Nick Daicos will miss the next six weeks with a hairline fracture in his knee.
In what was the worst game of his already glittering AFL career, Daicos was taken off the ground after getting crunched in a marking contest late in Collingwood’s shock loss to Hawthorn on Saturday.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Debate rages over Nick Daicos free kick.
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Initial fears that the superstar 20-year-old could be sidelined for an extended period of time have been realised, with Craig McRae’s team now preparing to begin their finals campaign without him.
Collingwood football boss Graham Wright said the younger of the Daicos brothers has a hairline fracture in the lateral tibial plateau of the right knee joint.
“Nick has been seen by a specialist knee surgeon this morning and, while fortunately this does not require an operation, it will need time to heal before he returns to football,” Wright said in a club statement.
“At this stage, the expected timeframe for Nick is six weeks.”
Assuming Daicos does miss the next six weeks, he will be sidelined for the Magpies’ remaining three home and away matches and potentially two finals.
The competition-wide pre-finals bye will help to give him an extra week to recover but, on the current timeline, it won’t be enough to be ready for finals.
Nick Daicos looks on at the back of the bench. Credit: Getty ImagesNick Daicos gets to his feet after being roughed up. Credit: Getty Images
Collingwood are all but certain to finish in the top four, and likely top two, meaning they will play at least two finals. If they win their qualifying final in the first week of September, they could hope to have Daicos return for a potential preliminary final.
Renowned Hawks tagger Finn Maginness followed Daicos for every second of the game and restricted the superstar to just five disposals – the lowest tally of his young career.
Daicos was also roughed up by a number of Hawthorn players during what was a dirty day for the 20-year-old.
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He was spotted limping to the changerooms after the final siren.
But even before the injury, he was struggling to have an impact under the heavy pressure from Maginness.
His only bright spot came in the third quarter when he kicked a goal from a controversial free kick after he was collected high during a melee.
Former Brisbane and Port Adelaide midfielder Tom Rockliff accused Daicos of staging for the free kick and challenged the AFL’s Match Review Officer to penalise him for it.
Nick Daicos was taken off with a knee injury against Hawthorn. Credit: AAP
“Umpires again sucked in – imagine taking a dive like Nick Daicos just did and getting a free kick for it,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Wonder if the MRO will look at that for diving or for striking? It has to be one.. and he missed his face by 1m so I know what they should do
“Missed his head, clear (hit in the) chest and threw his head back. Staging or striking… It’s one or the other #staging.”
Defender Nathan Murphy also suffered a nasty ankle injury, while Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell was also subbed off, although that appeared to be tactical.
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