GWS looks to overcome GIANT setbacks for 2022 AFLW season
GWS GIANTS are already counting the cost of some unfortunate injuries during the AFL Women’s preseason with three players set to miss either most or all of the pre-season. With clubs back training again after strict lockdown protocols prevented them from doing so in New South Wales and Victoria, a number of players have suffered recent injuries which have setback their preseasons.
Unfortunately, late call-up Isadora McLeay – who replaced Emily Goodsir after the GIANTS talent announced her pregnancy, ruling her out of the 2022 season – tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Then last week, both Nicola Barr and Tarni Evans were also announced to face long stints on the sidelines after suffering a shoulder injury and a foot stress fracture respectively.
Evans’ stress fracture is on the lower side of the two, set to miss just over a month through the injury, whilst Barr will miss between three to four months with her shoulder, but has chosen not to get surgery to remain a great chance of returning early in the 2022 season.
Meanwhile around the league, Carlton tall Serena Gibbs has also chosen to take time away from the game in order to focus on her mental health, while St Kilda’s two-time best and fairest winner Georgia Patrikios has been granted an indefinite leave of absence from the Saints.
Aside from injuries, the AFL released its COVID-19 vaccination policy for all men’s and women’s players, as well as football program staff. This announced that all players and staff must be vaccinated prior to the start of their respective seasons. Whilst not all states have mandatory vaccinations for professional athletes, Victoria – which hosts eight of the 14 clubs – does. The dates set for AFL Women’s players and program staff to be vaccinated were the first dose by November 19, and to be fully vaccinated by December 17.
It was also released that all players from seven of the eight Victorian clubs – where previously mentioned professional athletes require mandated vaccinations in the state – had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with only St Kilda yet to confirm its vaccination status due to medical confidentiality.
From off-field to on-field, it is hoped the 2022 AFL Women’s fixture will be released sometime next month, with the first round of action to kick off from January 6 next year.
Picture credit: Toby Zerna