WESTERN Bulldogs star Isabel Huntington will miss the rest of the AFLW season after receiving the devastating confirmation she has suffered a third ACL injury.
Huntington had reconstructions on both knees, in 2018 and 2019, and her right knee buckled on Saturday as she changed direction in the Bulldogs’ loss to Melbourne.
Scans confirmed Huntington had ruptured her right ACL graft while she had damaged her lateral meniscus.
Huntington’s news comes as two other AFLW stars, Collingwood co-captain Bri Davey and Brisbane’s Kate Lutkins, await the results of their own knee injury scans.
“We are absolutely devastated for Izzy – she is a much-loved figure at the kennel, and everyone is well aware of her injury battles, so we’re just heartbroken for her,” Bulldogs women’s football boss Debbie Lee said.
“She worked extremely hard this pre-season to get herself ready for this year, so it’s a real shame her 2022 campaign has been cut short.
“Izzy is a true professional, though, and having been through this twice before she will know what’s required of her.
“As a club, we’ll continue to support her and the family in any way we can.”
The 22-year-old will have a surgical consult this week.
Huntington was a standout junior and overcame a broken leg to go pick No.1 in the 2017 AFL draft.
She had her 2018 and 2019 seasons ruined by her knee injuries then won the 2020 Rising Star as a defender, before returning to a key forward post last season.
Davey, last season’s AFLW best and fairest winner, was in tears as trainers helped her from the field with only minutes left of Collingwood’s win against Carlton.
Collingwood star Davey previously tore her ACL while playing for Carlton in February 2018.
Brisbane gun Lutkins was hurt early in the Lions’ loss to Adelaide, also on Sunday.
Lutkins’ teammate Dakota Davidson also went down with an ankle injury and GWS star Chloe Dalton appeared to suffer a serious shoulder injury in Sunday’s win over Gold Coast.
Knee reconstructions have been a major issue in the AFLW throughout its five-year history.
But the latest injury report showed ACL injuries were at their lowest in the league last year.
(C) AAP 2022