Small wonder that veteran team sports players seem to display vast creativity around the subject of avoiding training camp.
In the lead up to the Toyota 2020 AFL Premiership competition, players are being injured at what is possibly the worst time, ahead of the season. It could be argued that a worse time is right before a Grand Final, but either of those positons is subjective.
What is objective is that Port Adelaide Power vice-captain and key player Ollie Wines dislocated his shoulder last week during training and will miss several rounds of the new season due to surgery to correct the issue.
Wines will miss the Community Series and some number of the opening premiership rounds, with the club reporting in a statement, “Ollie dislocated his shoulder in a fairly routine contest on Wednesday in one of those unfortunate incidents that can happen in football,” according to the Power’s head of medical services Tim O’Leary.
On the other end of the continent, the Gold Coast Suns lost not one, but three promising young players.
One of those is Charlie Ballard, who broke onto the Suns’ senior list last year and seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel sort for a club whose tunnel has been long and dark.
Ballard could be off for around three months.
Another young midfielder, Wil Powell, needs knee surgery, with a return date not yet set.
Finally, Port has lost Mitch Riordan to a right ACL rupture just ahead of a simulated match.
There is no timetable given for Riordan’s return and even though he had yet to make his debut, Gold Coast expected much. The Suns will receive another selection in the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period to add to what looks to be a promising list for the 2020 AFL season.
Gold Coast will also be missing GWS and Port transfer Jack Hombsch, to a fractured rib. Painful, but most likely not season threatening.
Gold Coast and Port are not the only two clubs having the training camp injury experience, but they are both clubs that need help and a healthy list heading into the season would be one form of that help.