8 Jul 2000: Stephen Powell #7 and David Schwarz #5 for Melbourne celebrate after their win in the match between the Melbourne Demons and the Sydney Swans during round 18 of the AFL season, played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia.Mandatory Credit: Hamish Blair/ALLSPORT

In the wake of Harley Bennell’s departure from Fremantle after an injury plagued four years, we look back at five careers cut short by injury.

In no order, here are five players whose careers came to an abrupt end for all the wrong reasons.

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1. Mark Coughlan – Richmond 

Before Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin there was Mark Coughlan in the heart of the Tigers midfield. Selected with pick 25 in the 2000 draft, Coughlan burst onto the scene by winning the Tigers best and fairest award in 2003 and finishing sixth in the Brownlow Medal.

Coughlan was tipped to be a future captain of the Tigers, before injury curtailed his career.

Coughlan suffered osteitis pubis in 2004, however he returned in 2005 and averaged over 22 disposals and finished the season with the third most tackles in the competition.

In round 12 2006, Coughlan fell awkwardly and tore his ACL against Hawthorn. He then suffered a recurrence of the injury in early 2007 and missed the entire season.

Ongoing hamstring injuries in 2008 forced Coughlan to receive radical treatment in Germany. The treatment was successful and Coughlan returned to the field in 2009, yet was never the same player and was delisted by the Tigers after playing 92 games.

 

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 06: Mark Coughlan of the Tigers in action during the round 19 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Richmond Tigers at Subiaco Oval on August 06, 2005 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
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