Veteran Fremantle forward Ebony Antonio has decided to call time on her 2023 NAB AFLW season due to an ongoing knee injury.
Antonio was a late withdrawal for Sunday’s round eight clash with St Kilda.
AFLW Senior Physiotherapist Brett Fletcher shared the news in an update.
“Ebony’s been dealing with some knee soreness this season. This is largely due to a PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) injury she sustained last year,” Fletcher said.
“We’re going to get on the front foot with this one and she’s going to undergo surgery to reconstruct the PCL.”
“Unfortunately, this will mean she will miss the last two games of the year, but hopefully it will give her the best chance to perform well next season.”
One of four inaugural Fremantle AFLW players remaining in the squad, 31-year-old Antonio is hoping to return to football stronger than ever post-surgery.
“(I am) feeling really satisfied with the decision. It’s probably no secret that I’ve been playing with an injury due to my knee,” Antonio said.
“(I am) calling it now and putting my best foot (forward) to have a really good pre-season next year and play some really good footy in 2024.”
Fletcher gave an update on Irish midfielder Joanne Cregg, who was ruled out of the Saints clash after sustaining a knee injury during round seven.
“Jo is coming along really nicely. She will unfortunately miss this weekend, but we’re hopeful for a round 10 return,” Fletcher said.
After injuring her shoulder against Geelong in round seven, Fletcher hopes small forward Amy Mulholland will return this week.
“Amy didn’t quite get up in her test last week. She’s made some big progress over the last seven days, and we’re hopeful she’ll be available for this weekend,” Fletcher said.
Midfielder Sarah Verrier was a late withdrawal to round eight, after pulling up with shin soreness post the Cats clash.
“She (Sarah) has a little hot spot on her shin – she just wasn’t quite ready to play,” Fletcher said.
“She will be a test for this week – we’re hopeful she’ll be available.”
Fletcher also gave an update on midfielder Nikki Nield who injured her shoulder in a scrimmage a fortnight ago.
“Nikki’s coming along really nicely. She’s not quite there yet, so she won’t be available this week – we’re hopeful for a round 10 return,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher said small forward Tara Stribley will be unavailable for the remainder of the season.
“Tara will miss the last two games of the year unfortunately, (as) she’s rehabbing a calf injury,” Fletcher said.
ROUND 9 INJURY LIST
Joanne Cregg (knee) – 1 week
Amy Mulholland (shoulder) – test
Nikki Nield (shoulder) – 1 week
Sarah Verrier (shin) – test
Ebony Antonio (knee) - season
Mikayla Morrison (knee) - season
Tara Stribley (calf) – season