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Murphy To Make A Late Start

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 1:14 PM
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Outstanding midfielder Jake Murphy, dogged by leg injuries in recent seasons, will miss Claremont’s early matches as he recovers from surgery to his right Achilles tendon.

He has taken part in much of the club’s pre-season training program, but on a restricted basis. However, he continued to be troubled by his damaged Achilles and underwent an operation early last week.

Hopefully, he will be able to resume running in four to six weeks as he begins his rehabilitation.

The fiercely competitive and inspirational Murphy won the E. B. Cook Medal as Claremont’s fairest-and-best player in 2013 and was a member of the Tigers league premiership sides in 2012 and 2013.

But a succession of leg ailments forced him on to the sidelines many times over the past four seasons when he was restricted to 42 league appearances --- 11 in 2014, six in 2015, 15 in 2016 and ten last year.

The 28-year-old left-footer has been club captain over the past four years and he has made 124 league appearances for the Tigers as well as playing in nine Foxtel Cup fixtures and one match for Western Australia.

Also, out of action for at least the first couple of months of the season will be the dashing and versatile Harry McCracken, who is recovering from surgery to a shoulder he injured in a basketball mishap before Christmas. McCracken has been a regular member of the league side in the past two seasons, appearing in 34 matches.

Persistent trouble with a foot injury known as turf toe has forced club stalwart Aaron Holt into a premature retirement. He trained assiduously before Christmas and during January, but constant and highly specialised treatment failed to cure the problem.

A league premiership player in 2012, Holt (27) excelled as an uncompromising backman and also as a skilful defensive half-forward. He played in 68 league matches and four Foxtel games.

Holt joins Ryan Neates, Mitch Andrews, Jack Bradshaw, Matt Davies, John Williams, Anthony Morabito and AFL draftees Bailey Banfield, Matt Guelfi and Zac Langdon who will be missing from action with the Tigers in 2018.

Several up-and-coming players from last year’s reserves and colts sides will be seen in action in an intraclub scratch match, starting at 9am on Saturday at Claremont Oval.

 By Ken Casellas