Sunday, June 23, 2024

Dees confirm extent of Christian Petracca injuries after hospitalisation in King’s Birthday nightmare

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Melbourne superstar Christian Petracca’s injury setback is worse than first thought, having undergone surgery overnight after a heavy collision in Monday’s King’s Birthday loss to Collingwood.

The Demons provided an update on Petracca’s condition on Tuesday, confirming the superstar suffered four broken ribs and a lacerated spleen. He also copped a small puncture to his lung.

Per Melbourne, Petracca’s return-to-play timeline will be determined during the week.

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Tension reached a peak on the stroke of quarter-time during Monday’s game when Petracca took a heavy knock to the ribs from a flying Darcy Moore.

Petracca, clutching his side in agony, was escorted to the rooms at the break, with lingering doubts about his ability to continue. He was eventually taken to hospital in an ambulance.

“Obviously, Christian’s health is the number one priority for us at the moment. 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,” Melbourne football boss Alan Richardson said in a statement.

“He’s obviously an extremely important player for the team, but his health and recovery are our top priorities right now.”

Roos legend David King said on Fox Footy at the first break: “You can’t help but feel this is their season walking off (Petracca) of the ground here; he’s the reason they score, he’s the reason their forward 50 corrects.”

“The domino effect; the player that replaces him in the midfield or up forward is nowhere near that level … it’s pretty much Max Gawn or bust.”

Petracca, clutching his side in agony, was escorted to the rooms at the break, with lingering doubts about his ability to continue.Source: News Corp Australia
He was eventually taken to hospital in an ambulance.Source: Getty Images

Demons coach Simon Godwin feared the 28-year old midfielder had damaged his ribs, but couldn’t confirm the extend of the setback.

“He is in hospital. He is just getting a scan at the moment,” Goodwin said post-match.

“We think it might be some cracked ribs, but we’ll give more information as soon as we get it. Hopefully that’s all.”

Melbourne has its bye this week before playing North Melbourne on the other side of it.

Monday’s match began with Will Hoskin-Elliott kicking the opening goal inside the first minute, following a brilliant fend-off by Bobby Hill on Melbourne’s Kysaiah Pickett.

Finlay Macrae then doubled Collingwood’s lead, making a strong start with five disposals in the first ten minutes.

Melbourne’s captain Max Gawn and Pickett both hit the post in the first half of the opening term. The Demons continued to squander opportunities, but Nathan Kreuger marked his return to the scoreboard with his first goal since 2022, set up by a stellar mark from Hoskin-Elliott earlier in the play.

Brayden Maynard copped it from Demons fans every time he got near the ball.Source: Getty Images

Fans were vocal at the MCG this afternoon, with Collingwood defender Brayden Maynard copping heat from Demons fans every time he got near the ball.

The last time the two sides clashed, Maynard was involved in a massive blow with Angus Brayshaw that eventually ended his footy career.“I’ve copped it a little bit, especially when I get the ball in hand,” Maynard said.

“I think we all do (feed off it) don’t we? We love when the fans get involved. It’s all a part of the game. If the fans don’t get involved, what’s the game?”

Fox Footy’s Leigh Montagna said the loss, coupled with the injury cloud Petracca is now under, was the last thing Melbourne needs after a decent start to the season.

“Melbourne has lost their edge. There’s certainly something missing with Melbourne at the moment,” he said.

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