Carlton ruckman Tom De Koning underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot in his shoulder.
The injury has restricted the 22-year-old to non-contact training, but the Blues hope the ruckman rebuilds his fitness before the season opener in late March.
The football club has attempted to downplay the significance of the blood clot in the emerging talent, calling it a “minor” setback for the young player.
*For readers unsure of what a ruckman is for Australian Rules Football, per Wikipedia*
a ruckman or ruckwoman is typically a tall and athletic player who contests at centre bounces and stoppages (such as boundary throw-ins and ball-ups). The ruckman is one of the most important players on the field. They are often key to coaching strategy and winning centre clearances which result in the most goal kicking opportunities (inside 50s).
— SEN 1116 (@1116sen) February 3, 2022
Very normal for a 22 year old athlete to get blood clots. 😒 pic.twitter.com/7kuYGQ0hkp
— The Juggernaut (@TheJuggernaut88) February 4, 2022
Carlton are playing down the nagging shoulder injury that has restricted emerging ruckman Tom De Koning to non-contact training as he continues to build fitness ahead of the season opener in late March.https://t.co/B3ln5RvEdP
— Real Footy (AFL) (@agerealfooty) February 2, 2022
The ruckman has returned to running and skills sessions, with the club taking a cautious approach with the talented youngster.
De Koning played 13 of his 22 career games last season for the Blues and will likely lead the way again in 2022.
Carlton has three ruckmen on their list including Marc Pittonet and rookie Alex Mirkov.
news.com.au noted the club attempting to downplay De Koning’s blood clot:
Carlton downplayed the significance of the operation, calling it “minor”, but is yet to confirm whether the 22-year-old will be available for the club’s first game of the season on March 17.
“The club will continue to monitor the 22-year-old closely over the next month to assess his availability for the start of the season,” a Carlton statement read.
“De Koning is in good health following the procedure and is being integrated back into training.”
As stated by the AFL:
ALL PLAYERS and football department staff at AFL and AFLW clubs will need to be fully vaccinated to train and play as part of the AFL’s COVID-19 policy.
After months of consultation with governments and the AFLPA, the AFL on Thursday released a three-stage schedule as part of its “responsibility to address the risk of exposure to COVID-19 of our players and football program staff”.
The policy will apply to all players selected in next month’s NAB AFL Draft.
Applications for exemptions for vaccinations will be determined under criteria “similar to the Victorian Authorised Worker Vaccination Mandate”.