Injured Blues star Docherty to miss 2018

Nov 15, 2017 - 4:04 AM Carlton have copped a massive blow with star defender Sam Docherty suffering a serious knee injury which will likely rule him out of the 2018 AFL season.

Docherty, 24, ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament while running at a pre-season training session on Wednesday.

With veteran midfielder Bryce Gibbs traded to Adelaide last month, Docherty was among a core of key Blues the club was relying on to begin their climb back up the ladder after four straight years in the bottom six.

Docherty, who finished second behind skipper Marc Murphy in the club's best and fairest this season after topping the tally in 2016, will undergo traditional reconstructive surgery over the coming days before commencing his rehabilitation process.

Head of football Andrew McKay said the club was shattered for Docherty, who is a potential Blues captain in waiting.

"As we commence our pre-season campaign, the news of Sam's injury is incredibly disappointing for everyone but foremost for Sam," McKay said in a statement.

"Sam is a total professional and a resilient young man and we know he will face his rehabilitation process with the utmost dedication."

Docherty, who earned his first All Australian jersey this year as a defender, was looking to shoulder more responsibility in the midfield following the departure of Gibbs.

Carlton's other gun midfielder Patrick Cripps only recently returned to training after breaking his leg in July.

Docherty has played 92 AFL games, having started his AFL career with one season at the Brisbane Lions in 2013.

Source: AAP

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