MELBOURNE’S finals hopes have been dealt a major blow with spearhead Jesse Hogan to miss the rest of the season.
The Demons confirmed on Tuesday he had suffered a ‘partial stress fracture’ in the navicular bone in his right foot during Sunday’s loss to Sydney at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Hogan, 23, revealed he had felt soreness during the opening stanza, which escalated during half-time, before returning to play out the match.
“It’s just a crack so it’s not disastrous. We caught it pretty early,” said Hogan.
“The pain was hovering so it didn’t crack all the way through thankfully so I won’t require surgery or anything, but it’s enough to keep me out for the rest of the season.”
After multiple scans on Monday, Demons elite performance manager Dave Misson said that Hogan would not kick a football in anger again in 2018.
“He had an MRI scan and a CT scan and what it showed was a partial stress fracture to the navicular bone,” Misson said.
“What that means for Jesse is that essentially his season is over. It can develop into a serious injury and we feel we’ve got it quite early.”
“It’s not going to require surgery and we’re looking at a positive outcome for his preparation going into 2019.”
“We think he’s going to be right to go for the start of pre-season, but unfortunately for the rest of the season, that’ll be it for Jesse.”
Hogan said the injury could have been far worse had the club decided not to end his season prematurely.
“Initially when I saw sans I thought it might have been four-to-six weeks,” Hogan said.
“It’s obviously really disappointing, but there’s worse injuries. For example, (Alex) Johnson did his ACL so I can’t complain.”
“Footy’s a pretty cruel game at times. I’ve had my own troubles and I think everyone does.”
“You can’t have a perfect run, it’s unfortunate obviously but you’ve just got to look at the positives and tick off the next box in your recovery.”
Meanwhile, speedster Jayden Hunt will be sidelines for two-to-four weeks with the ankle he re-injured against the Swans, his first game since round seven.
Veteran Bernie Vince’s VFL shoulder injury that required surgery on Saturday night will see him miss the rest of the year.
Co-captain Jack Viney remains three weeks away from returning from his latest toe setback, while Joel Smith (collarbone) could feature before the conclusion of the home-and-away season.
All Australian defender Michael Hibberd (quad) and half-forward Jake Melksham (hamstring) are in the mix to play West Coast after training on Tuesday.
Melbourne’s push for a finals berth for the first time since 2006 is delicately balanced ahead of matches against top eight teams in the Eagles and Greater Western Sydney.
Yet to register a win against a top eight team this season, the Demons must win one of their two remaining matches to be in control of their own destiny.