Adam Cooney has genuine concerns for Carlton’s Charlie Curnow.
The talented forward suffered a fractured patella when he slipped on tiles when walking upstairs on Wednesday and is expected to be sidelined for up to four months.
Cooney sustained a similar injury in 2008, his Brownlow Medal year, which dogged him for the rest of his career. The former Western Bulldogs and Essendon midfielder has fears that Curnow may experience the same debilitating issues.
“I’m hoping it’s a different kind of injury, which sounds strange,” he said on SEN Breakfast.
“The issue I had was with my patella, it was a collision injury. I must have knocked knees with someone and cracked the patella.
“I played an extra two weeks on it and then went in for surgery at the end of the year. I had the crack removed, shaved off the side of the kneecap.
“My issue was, because of the collision, it sheared away all the cartilage underneath my kneecap. So, I was basically bone on bone from that moment.
“We are hoping that the injury to Charlie Curnow, because it wasn’t a collision injury, I believe his quad tensed and there was enough force to crack the kneecap, so we are hoping that there’s no damage to that cartilage.
“He’s going to lose some athleticism I think, because of that. It’s his second bout of surgery on the same knee now.
“It’s funny, surgery sounds glamorous doesn’t it for these AFL players. ‘In the off-season, he’s going in for a clean-up’, but the reality is, they’re cutting you open, slicing and dicing things. I’ve never been the same post-surgery in any part of my body.”
Cooney explained the impact the injury had on his ability to continue performing at the elite level.
“I couldn’t do the basics of what an AFL player needed to do,” he added.
“I never did a full pre-season after that. I got to a stage where I couldn’t do a body weight squat.
“On the leg press machine I was doing 5 or 10 kilos on there and usually you should be pushing out about 200 if you are serious.
“If the cartilage underneath the kneecap is intact then he should be ok.
“I do get pain and tenderness on the outside of the knee where the chip was removed which I had a few issues with. It was very sensitive. If I had a knock on it during a game, it would blow up straight away.
“I do have some fears for the young fella, unfortunately. I just hope that it’s just that crack in the kneecap and no damage to the cartilage.”
There was also some words of advice for the athletic 22-year-old Blue.
“Take it easy, don’t rush back and try and keep that bit of bone that’s cracked.”
Curnow underwent surgery this week and will not return to running until the New Year.
Listen to Cooney's chat on SEN Breakfast below: