Collingwood star Ruby Schleicher will miss the rest of the AFLW season with a knee injury but the dual All-Australian has avoided a dreaded ACL diagnosis.
There were fears Collingwood’s Ruby Schleicher had ruptured her ACL late in the game against Sydney
Scans on Monday confirmed a PCL injury that would keep her out for the rest of the 2023 season
Melbourne have finished on top of the McClelland Trophy standings across the men’s and women’s seasons
Schleicher went down late in the Magpies’ defeat to Sydney on Sunday, with scans on Monday confirming she had ruptured her posterior cruciate ligament.
While the injury is still serious, the popular 25-year-old should be fit to return for the start of Collingwood’s 2024 campaign.
Magpies coach Steve Symonds had feared the worst — an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury — when asked about the defender at his post-game press conference on Sunday.
Schleicher, who is developing a media career as a commentator with Fox Footy, had missed most of this season due to injury and only returned in round eight.
“Ruby will continue to play a key role as a leader within our program for the remainder of the season and the entire program will continue to provide support throughout her rehabilitation and recovery period,” Collingwood football boss Jess Burger said.
Schleicher’s absence will be a major blow to Collingwood’s hopes of sneaking into the finals ahead of the last round of the regular season.
The Magpies blew a golden opportunity to lock in their top-eight spot when they fell to the Swans by 19 points.
But Collingwood (5-4) remain one of eight teams from fifth to 13th on the ladder in contention to claim finals spots heading into this weekend.
A win over Richmond at Victoria Park on Sunday could be enough for the Magpies to sneak into eighth, but percentage will play a role as they are one of four clubs on 20 points.
Melbourne have finished on top of the McClelland Trophy standings across the men’s and women’s seasons.(Getty Images/AFL Photos: Dylan Burns)
The Tigers (4-5) also have an outside chance to play finals but would have to win big against Collingwood as they sit 12th with a poor percentage.
Seventh-placed Geelong can lock in their finals spot by defeating Hawthorn, as expected, at Kardinia Park on Saturday.
The Hawks have improved in their second season in the competition, but are 14th after winning three of their nine matches.
Gold Coast (fifth, 5-1-3) will play finals for just the second time if they defeat fifth-placed Essendon in an intriguing opening to the round on Friday night in Mackay.
While the Bombers (6-3) are already guaranteed to finish inside the top-eight, they could secure a top-four spot in just their second season if they down the Suns.
Ninth-placed St Kilda could play finals for the first time if they beat Carlton at Princes Park on Sunday.
Sydney, who also only entered the AFLW in 2022, can book a place in the finals if they beat Fremantle in Perth on Sunday in the last match of the round.
Reigning premiers Melbourne can claim the minor premiership by beating the Brisbane Lions in a grand final rematch at Springfield on Saturday night.
The Demons are already celebrating winning the McClelland Trophy.
The club with the most combined points across this year’s AFL and AFLW competitions received the title and $1 million.
The AFL on Monday announced $500,000 would be equally split between Melbourne’s AFL and AFLW players, with $250,000 allocated to the Demons’ football department and the other $250,000 to be spent at the club’s discretion.
Source: AFL NEWS ABC