Andrew Walker’s shoulder needs reconstruction

After the horror run that Essendon had with injuries in 2008, it looks like Carlton might have a similar run of bad luck in 2009. Andrew Walker has reinjured his shoulder in an incident that could put him out for the season… only a day after fantasy coaches had started looking at him as a fantasy forward.

Carlton FC Training Session

With Adam Hartlett seemingly unable to stay fit, and Heath Scotland struggling in his recovery from off-season surgery on his adductor, Carlton’s rehab group is bigger than most at this time of year. The news is now official on the Carlton Web site, but that’s not the full story.

Although the injury is to the same shoulder that kept Walker out of the first fifteen matches in 2008, it is not a recurrence of the same injury.

For an explanation of what that means, exactly, we turn to the Carlton Supporters Club, which ran a post from a fan with an inside source.

From what I understand, this injurry is actually the opposite to the last one in that this one popped out backwards. The last one popped out forwards.

Heavy rehab and strengthening of one side of the shoulder can apparently weaken the opposite side. Early opinion is that this is what’s happened to Walks. I don’t know any more than that but he was meeting the surgeon yesterday I think.

The choice Walker and the Carlton hierarchy have to make is whether to have a shoulder reconstruction, which would put him out for the season as it did Sean Rusling early last year, or to rehab the injury for four to six weeks and manage it through 2009. If he decides to play on there’s every chance of multiple recurrences, with the distinct possibility of it turning into a Tadhg Kennelly scenario where the shoulder pops out at the slightest bump. Then again, some players do play through it, as Lance Franklin has to great effect.

After the surprising news yesterday that Walker was classified as a forward for AFL Dream Team and Super Coach this year, this is the first of what will be many uses of the red texta in the preseason by fantasy coaches putting a line through promising prospects. Was he in your calculations? Let me know in the comments.

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