Demons veteran Jake Melksham will miss the remainder of the season and potentially the majority of next year having torn his ACL in the match against the Swans on the weekend. Melbourne's 11.11 (77) to 7.14 (56) victory over the Swans on the weekend was overshadowed when Melksham went off clutching at his leg.
Coach Simon Goodwin was concerned for his veteran after the game when he jarred his knee in a contest. "We fear the worst, but we hope for the best," Goodwin said.
"Looking at an ACL, which is really sad for Melky. It takes a really big dent in the day. I've coached Jake for a long time, 14 years, and he's just craving the opportunity to play in a successful team in finals footy. We hope that'll be the case, but we'll just have to wait and see."
However, in devastating news for the club, Melksham and VFL star Luke Dunstan both suffered ACL injuries on the weekend. Melksham is ruled out for the remainder of finals footy and is also also a worry for next year.
“Unfortunately, scans confirmed the worst for Jake and Luke this afternoon,” Melbourne’s general manager of AFL Performance Alan Richardson said in a statement. “It is incredibly disappointing news for both players, particularly on the eve of an AFL and VFL Finals Series. It really is a cruel part of our game.
“Jake and Luke have played very important roles for us in recent weeks and have done so with class and character. It is devastating to lose them at this point, but I have no doubt they will apply the same attitude and commitment to their respective rehabs.
“Both players mean a lot to our football club, and we will be doing everything we can to support them through this difficult time.” AFL fans reacted to the gutting news with the 31-year-old heading into finals footy in good form having kicked two goals against the Swans, before the injury.
— Melbourne Demons (@melbournefc) August 28, 2023
Hearing Jake Melksham has received confirmation he's suffered a torn ACL. Just shattering news for a bloke who missed out on a flag a couple of years ago and was in super nick in the second half of this year. It's looming as a double blow for Dees, given Luke Dunstan almost…
— Sam Edmund (@Sammy__Edmund) August 28, 2023
𝗚𝗨𝗧𝗧𝗘𝗗 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗠𝗘𝗟𝗞𝗬 😔
Jake Melksham suffered an ACL injury yesterday against the Swans.
He’s been a vital cog, who has done an exceptional job to nullify bigger opponents and hit the scoreboard.
We’re all thinking of you Melk ❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/ooZGvWF4LG
— The DeeBrief (@The_DeeBrief) August 28, 2023
Absolutely gutted for @JakeMelksham_17
You are a gun footballer and a fan favourite mate. Get that knee sorted, and get back on the field. Thanks for all your hard work, and if they haven't, I hope the club has at least offered you another year. You deserve it 👍🔴🔵
— Luke the AustrAlien (@Suburbanme) August 28, 2023
Buddy Franklin farewells Sydney Swans
In more uplifting news on the day, a packed house came and honoured Buddy Franklin as he said goodbye to the AFL. Franklin played 354 games and kicked 1066 goals for the Hawks and the Swans, finishing as the fourth highest goal-kicker in the game's history.
During the Swans' 77-56 defeat in the final home and away match of the season, Franklin's career was celebrated at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The generational talent was welcomed onto the ground at half-time in front of a packed ground. Fighting back tears, Franklin said he was overwhelmed at the response.
"A lot of happiness, a little bit of sadness. It's all come to an end...little bit overwhelmed," Franklin said to Channel 7. "A long time of playing footy. It is absolutely incredible to see our fans out here today."
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