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Luke Shuey’s class act after Matt Rowell suffers knee injury in AFL comeback

The West Coast Eagles have joined footy fans and the Gold Coast Suns in rallying around Matt Rowell after the young gun suffered a knee injury in his first game since July last year.

The Suns are cautiously optimistic that Rowell’s season is not over but the fact that his career is once again on hold has shattered the club.

The 19-year-old midfielder was tackled from behind by West Coast’s Zac Langdon in the opening quarter of the Eagles’ 25-point win in Perth on Sunday.

The force and momentum of the tackle meant Rowell’s left knee bore the brunt of his fall, and he immediately headed to the change rooms for further assessment.

Rowell was substituted out of the game at quarter time, and he was later seen on crutches and wearing a big knee brace.

Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew was on the bench to support Rowell when he emerged from the race, while Eagles captain Luke Shuey also made sure to check on the youngster.

As you can watch in the video above Shuey, absent for the start of the season due to a hamstring injury, shook Dew’s hand before giving Rowell some friendly advice.

Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew (right) was on hand to support Matt Rowell. Credit: Getty

Dew told reporters after the game that the injury looks to be more like a posterior cruciate ligament issue, rather than a dreaded anterior cruciate ligament tear.

“We don’t think it is season-ending at this stage,” he said.

“But having said that, I am certainly not a doctor. We need to get some scans tomorrow or the next day when we get back to the Gold Coast.

“We’re shattered for the lad. We want to see the best players playing and he’s one of our best. He has done so much work.

“To see him go down and have to put a brave face on again, your heart goes out to him. We’ll wrap our arms around him, reload and go again.”

Matt Rowell
Luckless Matt Rowell leaves the field after being injured again for the Suns. Credit: AAP

Rowell was playing his first AFL match since suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in round five last year.

On that occasion Geelong superstar Gary Ablett, no stranger to shoulder injuries, rushed over to Rowell to offer his support after the game.

The first four games of Rowell’s AFL career had been so stunning that he was even being talked up as a possible Brownlow medal contender before his debut campaign was ended.

After suffering the knee injury against West Coast on Sunday, Rowell bravely continued to support his teammates from the sidelines and even came out for a team huddle at three-quarter time.

“He is so unselfish, he put on a brave face,” Dew said.

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