North Melbourne’s Majak Daw will cap off a remarkable comeback when he plays his first AFL match after an almost two-year absence this weekend.
- Majak Daw last played an AFL match in round 23 of the 2018 season
- Daw sustained hip and pelvic injuries in a fall from Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge in late 2018
- He has played 50 AFL matches since making his debut in 2013
The Kangaroos have confirmed the defender will be picked for Saturday’s round-nine match with Adelaide in Carrara.
Daw has had to overcome serious setbacks since his last AFL appearance in round 23, 2018, most notably hip and pelvic injuries suffered in a fall from the Bolte Bridge in December of that year.
He had two 15-centimetre-long metal rods inserted in each of his hips and his rehabilitation involved him learning how to walk and run again.
He made his return to playing duties last July when the Kangaroos’ VFL team faced Sandringham in the second-tier competition.
After North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell announced Daw’s inclusion at training on Wednesday, the Kangaroos players mobbed the 29-year-old to celebrate.
“One of our own has been through a pretty substantial period in his life,” Ziebell said.
“This feat that’s he’s going to achieve this weekend is going to be one of the great stories in AFL footy.”
Daw was on track to play in round one against St Kilda, but was ruled out with a minor cold as a precaution because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There were fears Daw’s season might be over when he tore a pectoral muscle in May in a gym accident.
But he was lucky to avoid surgery and has impressed since at training and during scratch matches in Queensland.
Selected by North Melbourne in the 2010 rookie draft, Daw has played 50 AFL matches and kicked 40 goals.
He was used as a permanent defender in 2018 and enjoyed a career-best season in which he made 18 senior appearances.
Daw moved with his family to Australia in 2003 and became the first Sudanese-born player to play in the AFL when he made his debut with the Kangaroos in 2013.
The Kangaroos’ encounter with the Crows on Saturday is part of the AFL’s compressed schedule, which will see 33 matches played across 20 consecutive days.
Meanwhile, the AFL confirmed the Kangaroos’ round-11 fixture against Melbourne on August 9 will be moved to Adelaide.
The AFL was forced to shift the match from Hobart after the Tasmanian Government announced an extension of its border restrictions last Friday.