Another Pre-Season ACL – Bailey’s On Ice

What could have been for Bailey Smith in 2024?

All reports out of The Kennel were that he was one of the most impressive performers on the track, but there has never really been a question about Smith’s dedication once he hits the training track every pre-season.

Ah yes, the pre-season. Teams and supporters are full of hope and optimism. This could be the year it all comes together. After all, anything is possible when even the pre-season games are still 76 days away.

And then, suddenly, just like the shorts I bought from Cotton On*, things start to fray at the seams. The blokes who were going to mean so much to clubs have someone hamstring awareness… not too much to be concerned about, but still enough to make you screw your face up when you hear about it or see some vision of them grabbing at the back of their leg. Someone rolls an ankle and will have to sit out a couple of weeks, and you wonder whether this will be one of those types of things that becomes recurring.

I mean, what will that do to their preparation?

And then there are the big injuries.

Less than two weeks ago, Collingwood was rocked by the news that Daniel McStay would miss the entirety of the 2024 season after rupturing his ACL at training. McStay, who was a huge part of Collingwood’s charge to the flag, despite being robbed of the chance at a premiership medallion through injury, would have been looking at this coming season as the year he made up for missing out in 2023. And now, irrespective of how the year plays out for the Pies, he will miss out again.

As big a story as the McStay injury is, I get the feeling that the ACL injury to Bailey Smith is bigger. No disrespect intended toward McStay, at all.


Oh, what the hell? Article continued behind the Mongrel paywall? Yep, I believe my work is worth twenty-five cents per day. If you don’t, that’s fine. Standalone articles, off-season news, into season previews and pre-season game reviews, before we hit the 2024 season are all part of Mongrel Membership. You’re welcome to join/rejoin