We knew Bathurst Panthers skipper Doug Hewitt played busted in this year’s Group 10 grand final, but this busted?
Hewitt led the men in black to a break-through premier league title last Sunday in Cowra with what could be a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the herculean effort capped with a remarkable 12-10 triumph over the Magpies at Sid Kallas Oval.
Scans are expected to reveal the true extent of Hewitt’s injury, which was suffered in his side’s minor semi-final victory over Orange CYMS in week two of the finals series.
He played on to help Panthers over Orange Hawks in the preliminary final and then, of course, guided the Bathurst club to its first top grade title in 11 seasons the following week.
The Group 10 representative halfback is hopeful tests will confirm he’s simply suffered a further tear to the initial meniscus injury sustained against CYMS.
But his doctor couldn’t rule out a more severe prognosis, either a medial tear or even a ruptured ACL.
The worst case scenario would be a massive blow for Hewitt and rule the former Penrith lower grader out for virtually all of the pre-season and the start of Panthers’ 2019 campaign too.
Either way, Hewitt won’t play in Sunday’s NAB Western Premiers Challenge, where the Group 10 champs will lock horns with the Forbes Magpies at Carrington Park.
“It’s no good,” Hewitt said pretty bluntly when asked about his knee.
I had a torn meniscus the last two weeks but ... I might have done more to it now.Injured Bathurst Panthers skipper Doug Hewitt.
“I was in a fair bit of pain in the last game … Hawks wasn’t too bad, and then it just gave way against Cowra about 15 minutes in.
“Adrenaline got me going but towards the end I took the ball for the final play and when the siren went my knee just went.
“I had a torn meniscus the last two weeks but now I’m not 100 per cent sure, might have done more to it now.
“Probably, I’m not 100 per cent sure, but I’m thinking medial or something like that. Hoping the meniscus is just torn more but there’s a chance of an ACL.”
Hewitt was visibly limping amid the premiership celebrations and is still limping somewhat now, but he says the fact he’s able to walk on it is a positive.
Hewitt will watch on as Panthers take on Forbes on Sunday, as will back-rower Jack Siejka who suffered a fractured hand in the Group 10 decider.
Other than those omissions, Panthers is expected to be at close to full strength for the inaugural challenge.
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“Most of the boys should be right,” Hewitt added, confident Panthers match-up pretty well against their Group 11 rivals.
“I’ve spoken to a couple of people who’ve seen (Forbes) play. The club played a trial against them two years ago and the boys that played that day said it was just really tough.
“They like to play it through the middle and bang a few heads and I think we’ve played that way over the last few weeks.
“I think we’ll go well.”
The NAB Western Premiers Challenge will kick-off with the under 16s clash from 10.30am.
First grade is scheduled to start at 2.30pm at Carrington Park.