Melbourne’s bid to qualify for their first AFL Women’s grand final has suffered a massive blow after scans confirmed star defender Melissa Hickey has torn her ACL.
The second-placed Demons have to defeat the ladder-leading Western Bulldogs in their final-round showdown on Saturday night to guarantee their place in the premiership decider.
But Hickey’s absence will make that task a lot tougher given how important she is to the Melbourne team.
A loss to the Bulldogs would see Melbourne rely on other results in order to make the grand final.
Hickey injured herself during Melbourne’s 35-point loss to Carlton on Sunday and will take no further part in the 2018 season.
“I am keen to do whatever I can to support the girls this week and the weekend leading into an important game for our club,” Hickey said.
“I have so much love and belief for our group of girls and will play any part I can to help.
“The support I’ve received from the players, coaches and staff – and the fans – has been overwhelming and I can’t thank them enough for that.”