ACL injury to sideline Demons defender

20 March 2017 09:25:35 EST

Melbourne's Colin Garland will miss the whole of the AFL season after rupturing his ACL.

The 28-year-old, who only made six senior appearances last year, had been hoping to cement his place in the Demons side in the new campaign.

But in the final game before the Demons open their year against St Kilda, he suffered a serious injury.

Garland hurt his left knee when playing for Casey Demons against Port Melbourne at Casey Fields on Sunday.

He landed awkwardly in a marking contest in the last quarter of the game and had to be taken from the field on a stretcher.

Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said: "Unfortunately, scans have confirmed that Col has ruptured his ACL. He will meet with a surgeon to discuss his options today with the most likely option being that he will miss the year.

"After a disappointing season last year, Col had completed a very good pre-season and set himself up for a good season."

The veteran, who will come out of contract at the end of next year, has clocked up 141 appearances over his 10 seasons with the Demons.

With Sam Frost sidelined by a toe injury, he'd been confident of finding a place in Melbourne's side against the Saints.

Instead it's likely rookie Joel Smith will be upgraded to the senior list and make his debut after he collected 16 disposals and kicked one goal in the practice match.

Garland found himself shunted down the pecking order last year as the Demons favoured the young backline duo of Frost and Oscar McDonald.

Melbourne are 200/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Demons are 13/10 to beat St Kilda, who are 13/20.

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