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League injury ladder

R11: Alastair Clarkson Post-Match Hear from Clarkson as he spoke to the media following the loss to the Lions up North.

Every club cops injuries.

Strong teams absorb the pain, while the weak feel the hurt factor.

Greater Western Sydney and Richmond have been cruelled after losing stars, yet remain genuine flag contenders.

Carlton, on the other hand, has spiralled to a 1-10 start and former coach Brendon Bolton paid the heaviest of professional prices.

Read: The year to date - Midfielders

Meanwhile, feelgood story Brisbane has ridden a charmed run on the medical front to be pushing the top four.

Melbourne's alibi as the most injury-hit side – compounding an off-season of surgeries – comes with a rider, and the Bulldogs' season of mediocrity can't be blamed on losing key players.

That's all according to the mid-season injury ladder that comes with a twist.  

Instead of simply ordering clubs on the amount of games lost to player unavailability, each team has also been ranked in terms of the quality of names stuck on the sidelines.  

Applying a formula, the AFL's official statisticians Champion Data have estimated a scoreboard impact to every team's injury list – and the Giants have the unwanted pole position.  

Leon Cameron's men only rank 13th for total games lost, but their injury cost is No.1, equating to four goals per match (267 points in 11 rounds). 

In another nightmare run on the injury front, A-graders Toby Greene (calf), Josh Kelly (hip), Callan Ward (knee), Phil Davis (ankle), Lachie Whitfield (thigh) and Stephen Coniglio (finger) have all battled ailments.  

Ward won't return this year after rupturing his ACL in round three, and Whitfield is now gone for at least a month with a broken collarbone.   

The hits keep coming but, in an ominous sign for the competition, the Giants have powered their way to second spot on the ladder.  

Before a shock loss to North Melbourne last Friday night, the Tigers had won six of seven and sat in fourth spot. 

That's despite leaders Trent Cotchin (hamstring), Alex Rance (ACL) and Jack Riewoldt (knee/wrist) being counted among the casualty ward.  

Richmond has been three goals a game worse off (197 points this season) due to injuries, according to Champion Data, the same as Carlton. 

The battling Blues just haven't had the depth to cover the likes of co-captain Sam Docherty (ACL in pre-season), Matthew Kreuzer (knee), Kade Simpson (hamstring) and Liam Jones (concussion).  

Carlton and Brisbane's rebuilds have been poles apart, and right now Chris Fagan's exciting Lions are also reaping the benefits of a healthy list.

They have lost just 44 games to injury – easily the fewest in the AFL – and their scoreboard cost is just 34 points in total, a whopping 233 points fewer than GWS.  

The Lions are perfectly positioned to break their 10-year finals drought, with just four players currently sidelined.

Only Adelaide, which could be picking from a full squad except Tom Doedee (ACL) this weekend, is currently faring better.  

At the other end of the spectrum, the Demons have been hammered by the League's worst injury list. 

However, it has only cost them roughly eight points per match (92 in 11 games) during a season from hell for Simon Goodwin's men.

The AFL injury ladder after round 11

 

All Injuries (games lost)

Injury Cost (scoreboard points)

Club

Total

Rank

Total

Rank

GWS Giants

73

13

267

1

Carlton

85

8

197

2

Richmond

79

11

197

2

Hawthorn

76

12

185

4

Port Adelaide

80

9

176

5

West Coast

68

16

176

5

Sydney

88

7

154

7

Geelong

71

15

142

8

North Melbourne

109

3

137

9

Collingwood

94

5

136

10

Fremantle

90

6

133

11

Adelaide

58

17

123

12

St Kilda

117

2

123

12

Essendon

80

9

116

14

Melbourne

120

1

92

15

Western Bulldogs

72

14

77

16

Gold Coast

106

4

75

17

Brisbane

44

18

34

18

 

 

 

 

 

AFL Average

83.9

 

141.1

 

 
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs