Star of Essendon Dylan shiel was left on crutches after sustaining a knee injury during a horror outing that saw two other teammates injured against Port Adelaide.
Entering the game after taking a 40-point lead in the first round, Essendon was vastly outclassed by a side from Power, who slammed on the first five goals of the afternoon before running out. 18. 11. (119) to 9. 11. (65) winners at the Adelaide Oval.
After being beaten in the first half of the competition, Essendon’s afternoon went from bad to worse when Shiel grabbed his left knee after being crushed in a tackle by Port skipper Tom Jonas in the final quarter.
The star midfielder was helped off the ground in the hands of the coaches, unable to place a weight on his left leg, before being seen returning from the halls on crutches with his left knee heavily icy.
Shiel’s injury came after Essendon sustained two injuries to young duo Jye Caldwell and Sam Draper in the third quarter.
Caldwell had been one of the Bombers’ best players before he suffered a hamstring injury as he pushed the ball inside 50 with a long distance kick.
Draper, who suffered an ACL tear during the 2019 season, landed awkwardly in a scoring contest, raising fears he might have injured his knee again. However, the fat man had a frozen left ankle.
“Jye is just a hamstring, Dylan is a knee and Draper is kind of an ankle high,” Essendon coach Ben Rutten said after the game.
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“I think the doctors don’t think it’s ACL (for Shiel), but she just locked herself on top of him and we’ll have scans to see what it is.”
“It’s one of those high ankles (Draper) but we’ll have to investigate further and wait and see.”
The triple whammy for Essendon came after skipper Dyson Heppell was late withdrawn due to back spasms that forced him to undergo scans on Friday morning.
Essendon weren’t the only team affected by a late withdrawal, with Port Adelaide forward Todd Marshall also a late scratch.
While Heppell’s replacement Martin Gleeson had little impact on the game, Marshall’s replacement Mitch Georgiades scored four goals and 13 surrenders.
The game also marked Port Adelaide striker Orazio Fantasia’s first game against his former side after leaving the club in last year’s commercial period, and Fantasia finished with two goals and 17 divestitures.
Fantasia has been involved in a few minor scuffles, but was embraced by his former teammates after Power’s 54-point victory.
Port Adelaide will face a much tougher task in Round 3 as they travel west to face the West Coast Eagles on Saturday night, while Essendon will also play on Saturday, hosting St Kilda in a game at the dusk.