Red-hot Morrison Medal favourite Jason Cole’s season is over after the superstar midfielder had surgery on an ankle injury suffered last round.
Cole’s ankle took multiple hits during Seymour’s round 15 loss to Shepparton, ruptured ligaments in his ankle requiring surgery and a moon boot to be worn for at least the next month.
The Lions’ co-coach said he’d felt okay the morning after the game, but scans revealed his award-winning season would be no more.
‘‘I fell across my leg and felt it pop, I kept playing but in the last quarter I got tackled, the ankle twisted and I felt three pops,’’ Cole said.
‘‘I pulled up well which I thought was a good sign, but I’ve been told the syndesmosis doesn’t swell and I was pretty shocked when I got the scans done. It’s good I’ve been able to get the surgery done now though.’’
Cole’s Morrison favouritism is backed up by a runaway lead in The News Award for player of the GVL season, his 23 votes for the campaign putting him eight votes clear of Kyabram jet Mick Mattingly.
Cole, a builder by trade, said he would use the time off the field to continue his coaching apprenticeship.
‘‘It’s disappointing, but at the same time it’s a chance to learn a bit more about coaching doing it from the sidelines,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m a chippy so I’m off work for at least a month, that’s the minimum time I’ve been given after surgery. Hopefully it doesn’t drag out, but I work for myself so I’ve got a bit of freedom in that regard.’’
Ahead of the Lions’ clash with Rochester, Cole said his side would be looking to learn as much as it could despite being out of finals contention.
‘‘For a lot of our guys it’s about learning as much out of the last three games as they can,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s just about trying to learn, and we’ll have 10 or so boys dropping back to ressies for finals, and hopefully they go back there better players than when they came up.’’
The Lions will also miss VFL talent Jack Murphy who heads back to the higher level.
Only pride will be on the line when the sides meet at Kings Park on Saturday, Rochester coach James Flaherty also hoping to use the close to the season as a learning experience.
‘‘We’re looking to get a few wins on the board and start building some momentum for next year,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re just after that winning feeling, our best this season has been okay but we just haven’t been at our best enough, so we’ll look to rectify that.’’
The teams both enter the game 6-9 for the season, with the winner favourites to finish the season in eighth.
Seymour knocked off the Tigers by 27 points when the sides met in round five, a result Rochester will be keen to respond to.