Adam Cooney has little confidence that Jaeger O'Meara will ever produce his best football again.
The 23-year-old Hawthorn midfielder has played just six games in three years because of chronic knee issues.
Cooney, who experienced knee problems himself after winning the 2008 Brownlow Medal, believes O’Meara may struggle to reach the heights of his impressive first two AFL seasons when he was with the Gold Coast Suns.
The former Western Bulldogs and Essendon midfielder also believes it is time for O’Meara’s fellow ‘Os’ – Tim O’Brien and Jonno O’Rourke – to step up for the Hawks.
“It is a big year for the O’s – Tim O’Brien, Jonathan O’Rourke and Jaeger O’Meara,” he said on SEN Afternoons.
“I want O’Brien to play forward to help Jarryd Roughead. If he can do that and find some consistency, it allows James Sicily to stay back in 2018.
“He played really well in the Hawks’ intra-club. The big question mark is if O’Brien can cement himself as a key forward.
“With O’Meara, it is about his knee. Who knows? It has been three years now, so there is no way he will get back to his best.
“O’Rourke has plenty of talent but hasn’t shown his best at the Hawks.”
Listen to Cooney on SEN Afternoons below: