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“I’m responsible”: Petracca comments on injury blow as critics line up over “unanswered questions”


Melbourne superstar Christian Petracca has taken responsibility for returning to the field with what eventuated to be broken ribs, a lacerated spleen and a punctured lung.

Copping the injuries in a marking contest at the end of the first term, Petracca was put back onto the field in the second quarter but was far from his best as a result.

He was taken to hospital during the second half, where the full extent of the injuries emerged.

Several commentators have put the Demons in the gun for sending Petracca back out onto the field, but the 28-year-old defended his club.

“I’m responsible for putting myself out there by the way for people talking about the medicos,” Petracca commented on Instagram in response to Melbourne’s injury update about him.

The Demons’ handling of the injury has raised question marks given the importance of Petracca and the timing in the season.

A statement from the club earlier on Tuesday read: “Petracca suffered the injury in a marking contest at the end of the first quarter. He returned to the field after an initial medical assessment deemed his pain was likely due to a rib injury.

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“After returning to play, Petracca’s pain increased at half-time and despite assessing relatively well, he was sent to hospital for further investigation as a precaution.”

SEN’s Sam Edmund said: “For me, the statement left a lot of questions unanswered.

“Certainly the player has a lot to answer for in this situation, but sometimes they have to be saved from themselves. Every player wants to get back on, they’re all competitors.”

In what eventuated to be a disappointing loss for Melbourne, Petracca was his side’s best early, finishing the game with 13 touches from 40 per cent game time.

In his stint on the field in the second term, Petracca was in clear distress and David King believes it was clear to see Melbourne made the wrong call.

“This is not a Preliminary Final, it’s Round 13. You’ve got one of your best players, he’s clearly got a significant injury with his ribs, you have to play the long game with this one,” King told SEN's Whateley.

“I’m not sending him back out there knowing there’s at least some sort of rib damage… if you looked at him for the first three seconds when he went back out there, he couldn’t run effectively and he couldn’t hang onto the ball for more than one second because he was going to get nailed.

“It was an educated guess to put him back out there, a calculated risk. It’s a risk I’m not taking at Round 13.

“Don’t tell me the welfare of the player is paramount and the only decision above all others… Preliminary Final week I can understand. Grand Final week, absolutely, you take all sorts of risks because the gains are so great.

“But at Round 13, I just think it’s a poor decision and it’s not a medical decision, that’s a full coaching, footy manager, doctor, player… a collective decision.”

Melbourne are yet to confirm a return to play timeline for the 2021 Norm Smith Medallist, although he’s likely staring at a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Sports-News Melbourne

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