Two young Essendon players have personified the best and worst of life in the AFL.
The Bombers announced a two-year contract extension on Wednesday for forward Nick Kommer, only hours after confirming utility Alex Browne will not play again in 2014 because of a knee reconstruction.
Browne, 21, has played eight games in three seasons, including no senior matches through an injury-interrupted 2013.
Browne ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during Monday night’s pre-season game against the Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium.
“Alex was very unlucky,” club doctor Bruce Reid said on Essendon’s website.
“His leg got caught under his body on the field and as a result he has torn his cruciate and medial ligament.
“Unfortunately, he does need a full, traditional reconstruction.”
Essendon coach Mark Thompson said Browne had been enjoying his best pre-season campaign.
“While it’s a long road to recovery for players who require reconstructions, we have no doubt that Alex will come back stronger,” Thompson said.
Ruckman Tom Bellchambers (ankle) is also on the sidelines, and is expected to miss the first month of the season.
Meanwhile, Kommer has signed a two-year extension that ties him to the Bombers until the end of the 2016 season.
The 23-year-old made his senior debut in 2013 and played 19 games after being drafted from East Perth as a mature-age recruit.
“We have a pretty strong midfield, so I will keep working up forward and try to have more of an impact on the scoreboard, but hopefully I can push through there over time,” Kommer said.
Thompson said Kommer was rewarded for his outstanding debut.
“To play 19 games in his debut season is a credit to the way he attacks his football and he has become an important part of our forward line structure,” he said.
“Nick knows he has a lot to build on, but he has shown glimpses of his potential and we’re really excited about his future.”