Sydney Swans forward Sam Reid has been ruled out for the next two months of footy after suffering a quadricep muscle injury late in Saturday night's win over Greater Western Sydney at the SCG.
Returning to the side for his first match of the season, Reid damaged a quad tendon in the last term of the clash and the Swans are initially looking to be without the forward for at least 8 weeks.
The news is shattering for the player, who played his first game of the season after recovering from hamstring soreness experienced after the final JLT game.
Reid missed the entire 2016 season with various injuries, most notably calf and achilles, but kicked 30 goals from 22 games last season.
Swans defender Lewis Melican also hurt his hamstring against GWS and will likely sidelined for the 2-3 weeks.
Coach John Longmire said that the news was particularly disappointing for Reid, who had an injury-free pre-season until his hamstring problem on the eve of the season.
"He was good for us in the pre-season and on the weekend and he's a critical player for us, and no doubt he'll contribute when he gets back," he said.
"But we'll adapt and adjust and come up with a new tactic, and a new player to fill that role.
"That's what AFL footy is all about and we saw it on the weekend with the Geelong-West Coast game.
"It can be a battle of attrition at times and that's why the teams that are able to deal with those challenges throughout the course of the year are the ones that play finals."
Longmire will now have to assess his options ahead of the round 4 clash against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad.
Darcy Cameron seems the likely replacement for Sam Reid, with the West Australian capable of helping Callum Sinclair in the ruck, but also mobile enough to provide a forward target alongside superstar Lance Franklin.
"We could go with that model again and we may turn to that," Longmire said.
"He's been playing quite well in the ruck and marking the ball around the ground, and we know he's capable forward, so that's certainly an option for us.
"Sinclair kicked his goals on the weekend pushing forward (from the ruck) and we're really happy with his form, so we feel as though we've got a number of different ways we can go."
With Melican also ruled out by injury, defender Aliir Aliir is the ideal replacement to step in for Reid or Melican, given his ability to play a wide variety of positions, despite the fact that he managed just 60 minutes in the Swans NEAFL clash on Saturday afternoon.
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