AFL Injury News: Melbourne Demons superstar set to miss his first game since 2018 following brutal collision in Collingwood defeat 

AFL Rd 9 - Carlton v Melbourne
Simon Goodwin, Senior Coach of the Demons addresses his players

Melbourne Demons superstar Christian Petracca is set to miss his first game since Round 7 of the 2018 season. This injury has ended his 145 consecutive game run, which was second behind Collingwood's Jack Crisp's 227 games as the longest active streak.

The Melbourne player came off the field at the end of the first quarter after he was knocked at the ribs by Collingwood's Darcy Moore when they faced off on Monday (June 10). He, however, returned to the field at the beginning of the second quarter, after the medical team initially assessed it to be just a rib injury. He was in so much pain that he had to be subbed off at halftime and was immediately moved to the hospital while tests were carried out.

The 28-year-old had surgery after the extent of his injuries were confirmed to be four broken ribs, a small lung puncture as well as a lacerated spleen.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin in his post match press-conference was pretty optimistic that his star player would return to the side, explaining why the backroom staff allowed him.

“Like anything with a broken rib or a cracked rib, you get some pain relief and see how you can go on,” Goodwin said.
“That's the standard process with working through these types of injuries, but it was pretty evident he wasn't going to be able to play on so we just pulled it straight away at half-time.”

The most recent reference for a lacerated spleen was Collingwood's Mason Cox who missed six weeks of action in 2023.

Analysts criticize how Melbourne handled utility's injury in King's birthday clash

AFL Rd 13 - Collingwood v Melbourne
AFL Rd 13 - Collingwood v Melbourne

In an official statement released on Tuesday, Melbourne football boss Alan Richardson confirmed Christian Petracca’s absence from first-team action for some weeks.

“Obviously, Christian’s health is the number one priority for us at the moment,” Richardson said on the club's official website.
“The next few weeks will be crucial, and we’ll be monitoring his progress closely to make sure he heals properly and fully.
“As his recovery progresses, we will look towards a return to play timeline. He’s obviously an extremely important player for the team, but his health and recovery are our top priorities right now.”

Analysts have criticized the way Melbourne's medical and backroom staff handled Petracca's injury.

“You have to play the long game with this one. I’m not sending him back out there knowing that there’s at least some sort of rib damage..It’s a risk I’m not taking in Round 13…“I just think it’s a poor decision. It’s not a medical decision. That’s a full coaching, footy manager, doctor, player, that’s a collaborative decision. To me in Round 13 that’s a bad call,” AFL great David King said on SEN.

Fox Footy's Gerrard Whateley also echoed King's thoughts that Melbourne took too great a risk by bringing Petracca back in the field knowing that chest-related injuries can only be properly assessed after a scan at the hospital.

Melbourne are currently 10th after the loss but have a bye this weekend before they face North Melbourne on June 22 without Petracca.

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