Gardner to miss round one; Hickey injured at training

Western Bulldogs defender Ryan Gardner will not be available for the round one clash against Melbourne after undergoing surgery on his elbow.

The lockdown defender suffered a small crack in his elbow which led to the decision to operate and the club confirmed he would miss the season opener.

Gardner was an unlucky omission from the club’s grand final team in 2022 after he made way for Alex Keath, but he fought back well to play 22 of a possible 23 games last season.

The Bulldogs’ Ryan Gardner will miss round one after elbow surgery. Credit:AFL Photos

He has battled hard in an undersized defence since joining the Bulldogs and is highly regarded by senior coach Luke Beveridge.

The Bulldogs recruited Liam Jones to add depth to their stocks with the intercept marking defender joining a list that also includes emerging youngster Sam Darcy who can play in attack or defence.

Meanwhile, Sydney will be without ruckman Tom Hickey for the opening rounds after he suffered a significant calf injury at training.

Tom Hickey. Credit:Jessica Hromas

The 31-year-old has been an outstanding addition to the Swans in the past two seasons playing 37 matches and finishing sixth in the club best and fairest in 2021. He had an outstanding back half of the year in 2022, but was worked over in the grand final against Geelong after Sam Reid had to leave the ground through injury.

Industry sources say Hickey’s injury could keep him out for the first month of the season.

Peter Ladhams was unavailable for selection in that grand final after being suspended for an undisciplined act in a VFL final against Casey. He has served that suspension but did not appear in the Swans’ practice match against the Brisbane Lions last week.

Most Viewed in Sport

Source: Read Full Article