A ST KILDA youngster has suffered a suspected torn anterior cruciate ligament at the club's altitude training camp in Colorado.
Daniel Markworth, 20, sustained what the club thinks it is a torn ACL in regulation training at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Markworth did not hurt himself climbing, or in any other extreme activity, sources said.
Markworth, who was close to senior selection late last season and was slated to make his debut during 2013 in his second season, will fly home with the team in the coming days.
He is understood to have suffered the knee injury on Monday, Melbourne time. The diagnosis of a ruptured ACL has not yet been confirmed. The club doctor, Tim Barber, is with the team in Boulder, hence the club's fears that Markworth has suffered what is usually a season-ending injury - requiring a full reconstruction and an absence of seven to 12 months - when it occurs later in pre-season.
Markworth, drafted in the second round (pick 35) of the 2011 draft, played as a high half-forward or wingman for Sandringham in the VFL in his first season on the Saints' senior list. Should the worst be confirmed, Markworth would be the first AFL player to have a knee reconstruction before the 2013 season.
While the Saints, who have a senior list of 40, appear to have lost one player to a long-term injury, the club is otherwise faring well on the injury front; only one player, Sam Gilbert, was unable to make the trip to Colorado. Typically, clubs have several players recovering from surgeries who stay back home. Gilbert recently underwent shoulder surgery.
Collingwood's Nathan Brown snapped his knee cap during a hike when he was on a mid-season altitude camp in July of 2011, when the club sent a handful of players – incling Dane Swan – to an altitude camp mid-season in a bid to condition them for the latter stages of the season; Swan went on to win the Brownlow Medal, but Brown did not play again in 2011.