IT appears the Ovens and Murray has seen the last of Jon McCormick.
The Wangaratta champion doubts he will play football again after discovering his knee requires a full reconstruction.
It will be McCormick’s second knee reconstruction and is likely to prevent him from returning until 2011.
McCormick, 28, yesterday said it was time to move on.
“I probably have to give it away,” McCormick said.
“Particularly if I do it again and the problems that will cause, it’s probably time for me to move on with other things in my life.
“I’d like to do a bit more travelling and some surfing.
“I’ll help out with the club this year, but then I’d like to move to the coast towards Phillip Island or somewhere down there.”
The 2007 Morris medallist’s injury is a bitter blow to Wangaratta as the Magpies prepare to take on Wodonga in an elimination semi-final on Sunday.
However, McCormick’s departure will be felt throughout the Ovens and Murray, where he is widely regarded as the league’s best player since Wangaratta Rovers champion Robbie Walker.
‘Hoppa’ has mesmerised supporters and opposition players alike on a weekly basis since returning to his home club from Carlton in 2005.
He was a driving force behind Wangaratta’s 2007-08 flags and is one of the hot favourites to win this year’s Morris Medal.
The Galen College teacher said he knew the extent of his injury as soon as he went down in third quarter of the Pies elimination final win over Corowa-Rutherglen on Sunday.
“It just went ‘clunk’, and then I knew I was in trouble,” McCormick said.
“It’s really disappointing, especially when you can’t go out on your own accord.”
McCormick believes his teammates are capable of going all the way to a third consecutive flag without him.
“Oh, definitely,” he said.
“Over the last probably six weeks the guys have started to really perform well.
“(Sunday’s clash with Wodonga) will be tough ... but they can definitely do it.”