Key forward lost for the year to ACL injury as the Giants are thumped by St Kilda.
Greater Western Sydney power forward Jonathon Patton has suffered a knee injury as his fledgling side crashed to a 72-point loss to St Kilda in Canberra.
Patton screamed in pain when he was tackled into the turf by Saint Rhys Stanley midway through the second term at Manuka Oval.
The 2011 No.1 draft pick immediately clutched his right knee and was unable to stand up.
The 19-year-old was helped off the field and down the race by two GWS officials, emerging after half-time on crutches with an ice pack strapped to his knee.
It was a sour point for the record crowd of 11,092 – GWS’s best at Manuka – in a game the hosts lost on the back of a dreadful opening term.
St Kilda became just the third team to hold the Giants scoreless for a whole quarter, easing to a 34-point lead at the first break en route to a 21.14 (140) to 10.8 (68) victory.
The Saints had booted 5.4 to 0.0 at quarter-time. If they kicked straight, the game would have been as good as over then.
As it was, the visitors’ advantage was never called into question.
They were harder at the ball, as depicted by a 139-109 contested possession count, while on-ballers David Armitage, Nick Dal Santo and Leigh Montagna used it intelligently.
This was also a game of contrasting forward lines – one side had a bounty of targets while the other struggled to find one.
For GWS, ruckmen Dean Brogan and Jonathan Giles combined for four goals, while midfielders Devon Smith and Adam Treloar also kicked two apiece.
In contrast, St Kilda small forwards Stephen Milne (three goals), Ahmed Saad (three) and Terry Milera (two) were magnificent in both their pressure and presence up forward.
Beau Maister (2.3) and captain Nick Riewoldt (3.2) were also ominous, albeit not as accurate as the side’s mosquito fleet.
Armitage kicked four goals and tallied 31 disposals to be best afield.
A serious setback would be shattering for Patton, who had started to show signs of his potential after benefiting from a full pre-season.
The talented teenager, who attracted comparisons to Jonathan Brown in his junior career, had his maiden season curtailed by surgery on his left knee in Sweden last year.
St Kilda had its own injury concern, with Jack Newnes (concussion) substituted out early in the second quarter.