Giants veteran Phil Davis’ career in limbo after fresh hamstring concern

GREATER Western Sydney interim coach Mark McVeigh admits veteran Phil Davis’ latest hamstring injury is “heartbreaking” with the former club captain’s future in the game in limbo.

Davis was helped off the field by medical staff and subbed out of Saturday night’s 55-point loss to Port Adelaide after injuring his right hamstring contesting a mark against Charlie Dixon, grimacing in pain on the ground after the incident.

The injury comes with six rounds left in the season for the 13th-placed Giants and in Davis’ third game back following a hamstring injury to his left leg sustained in round two which sidelined him for three months.

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Davis, who joined the Giants from Adelaide for their foundation season and has played 192 AFL games, turns 32 next month and is out of contract at the end of this season. The key defender’s latest injury blow creates major doubts about his playing future.

McVeigh didn’t know the extent of the injury yet and declined to weigh into the discussion around Davis’ future but labelled the situation as “heartbreaking”.

“It’s a sad one because of what he’s been through,” McVeigh told reporters.

“He rehabbed really well through a pretty bad injury to get to this point again. He’s got a lot of training in behind him after he got back. He was able to play VFL, played extremely well last week.

“It’s heartbreaking for our club to potentially lose him for the rest of the year. You’d probably clearly think that’s going to happen.”

On Davis’ future, McVeigh added: “It’s a hard one to answer. The appropriate people will have those conversations.

“Phil is someone that is very resilient and can manage and rehab injuries really well and he’s had some bad ones over the years. From my point of view, I’ve valued who he’s been for the club for a long period of time.”

McVeigh was forthright about his side’s performance against the Power, trailing by 38 points at half-time and managing only three goals for the game.

“I just thought we looked lacklustre early, especially a lot of our more senior players,” he said. “I thought our skill errors and the way we executed really let us down. They were able to counter-punch through us off the back of that which really hurt us.”

The interim Giants coach admitted during the week he wanted the job on a full-time basis and said losses like that only reiterated that to him, insisting he’s not daunted by the senior head coaching role.

“I want it more and more,” he said. “These are the challenges you’ve got to embrace and love and work out how we’re going to get better and fix.

“I probably love it more. I’m not daunted by it. I feel like I can get together with my other coaches and work out how we can get this right.”

Port’s win kept alive its finals hopes, moving within one game and percentage of the top eight although coach Ken Hinkley preferred to only focus on the next opponent, reigning premier Melbourne in Alice Springs next Sunday.

Hinkley refused to be drawn into whether Melbourne’s star ruck duo of Max Gawn and Luke Jackson will prompt them to recall Scott Lycett, who played his first game in the SANFL on Saturday since a shoulder reconstruction three months ago.

“He got through well,” Hinkley said about Lycett who had 16 disposals, 14 hitouts and a goal for the Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL.

“He’ll obviously be better for the run. Scott was pretty solid in his first game in 12-13 weeks, so we’ll make some decisions around what that looks like later in the week.”

Hinkley was full of praise for Connor Rozee, who kicked four goals with 11 score involvements from 24 disposals, claiming he’s among the game’s elite midfielders this year.

“Remarkable young player,” he said. “He continues to build a pretty strong season.

“He would have to be one of the key midfielders in the competition right now. I hope that’s the case because that will bring more growth through attention.”

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