Matt Rowell will miss three months of the AFL because of shoulder surgery. Image by Scott Barbour/AAP PHOTOS

Australian rules football

Suns young gun Rowell to have surgery

2020-07-07 19:08:14

Gold Coast young gun Matt Rowell is facing at least three months on the sidelines after the AFL club confirmed the teenager will undergo surgery.

Rowell dislocated his right shoulder during last Saturday’s loss to Geelong at GMHBA Stadium and after meeting with a surgeon in Sydney it was decided he’ll have surgery early next week.

Suns’ football manager Jon Haines said the 19-year-old midfielder is looking at a lengthy layoff.

“It will be quite a significant amount of time out of the game,” Haines said.

“Typically these can be a three month and beyond recuperation period so we’d expect that will typical of his case but we’ll see how it progresses.”

The news is a blow to 2019 top draft pick Rowell, who had made a barnstorming start to his AFL career.

Debuting in round one, Rowell was a standout performer in the Suns’ three straight wins following the competition restart against West Coast, Adelaide and Fremantle.

In five matches Rowell is averaging 17 disposals per game and kicked six goals.

The teenager soared into Brownlow Medal contention due to his fine form.

Haines said the decision to opt for surgery was only made following significant discussions with Rowell and his family.

“This is the first real injury that Matt’s had in his whole career so it was a new experience for him,” he said.

“We wanted to make sure that Matt’s parents and Matt himself had really good input and a good understanding of the options available to them.”

Following his injury in the 37-point defeat to the Cats, Geelong champions Joel Selwood and Gary Ablett both offered their condolences to Rowell.

Ablett, the former Suns’ captain with a history of serious shoulder injuries, added post-match he was available to offer advice and support to the youngster.

“If he wants to give me a call and talk through things, I can let him know what worked for me and what didn’t,” Ablett told reporters.