The AFLW career of Melbourne defender Shae Sloane hangs in the balance after she suffered her third anterior cruciate ligament rupture in the space of two years.
Sloane, a former volleyball star and the younger sister of gun Adelaide midfielder Rory Sloane, tore the ACL in her 'good' left knee during a training session on Saturday.
It continued a rotten run of luck for Sloane, who tore the ACL in her right knee shortly after making her AFLW debut in 2019, only to suffer another tear to the same knee at training 10 months later.
The 28-year-old was just weeks away from making a fairytale return, but her hopes of making it back to the AFLW stage now appear bleak.
"It was really an innocuous incident whereby Shae simply went to change direction and her left knee just gave way," GM of AFLW Daniel McPherson told Melbourne Media.
"It's always devastating to see someone suffer an ACL injury but when it happens to someone like Shae, who has done such an amazing job to get herself back to be so close to returning to play, it's just heartbreaking.
"Shae will take the time over the next few days to work through with our medical team the best course of action for her from here."
Just last month Sloane spoke about her relief of getting a one-year deal for 2021 and the significance of being able to make it back out onto the park.
The Demons (3-0) sit in fourth spot on the ladder and are fixtured to take on the Bulldogs at Whitten Oval this Sunday.
Australian Associated Press