Christian Petracca has revealed Melbourne Demons teammate Angus Brayshaw is “not going great” after he was knocked out in an incident that's being touted as potentially career-ending. Brayshaw was left unconscious on the MCG turf after Brayden Maynard clattered into him after an attempted smother in Collingwood's win over Melbourne last Thursday night.
Brayshaw was taken from the ground on a medicab and won't play in the Demons' clash with Carlton this weekend due to concussion protocols. But the fallout could be far wider reaching for Brayshaw, who has an extensive history of concussions.
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The 27-year-old took an extended break from the game in 2017 after suffering four concussions in the space of 12 months. He has worn a helmet ever since.
Speaking over the weekend, concussion campaigner Peter Jess told the Herald Sun that Brayshaw’s latest blow could be “career-ending” and “catastrophic”. Petracca described the situation as "really sad" and added: “I went and visited him yesterday with Gawny (Max Gawn). He’s not going great to be honest.
“Obviously he’s had a bit of concussion history, but fortunate it was six years ago, it’s not so frequent, but he’s got a bit of a sore neck. It’s really sad, he’s one of my closest mates. I think just in general to see anyone with concussion, whether it’s a Collingwood player or Melbourne player, it is really tough to see someone on the ground.”
Petracca was unwilling to weigh in on Maynard's controversial hit, but said: “I can’t really comment on that to be honest. The only thing we’re really concerned about is our teammate and 'Gus' on the ground. It’s difficult to see anyone on the ground with concussion.
“I feel like when I saw Gus and just speaking to him, footy is just one thing. It’s all about his health. You’ve got your brain for the rest of your life, footy is just part of you. It’s probably when I speak to him I feel that.
"You look at people with concussion, it’s more than just footy. Whatever he wants to do, it’s up to him. From speaking to him he’s in pretty good spirits, he is sore but I guess anyone would be when you get concussed.”
Brayden Maynard referred straight to AFL tribunal
Speaking after Thursday night's game, Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said Brayshaw was "shattered". He added: "He's upset. He's obviously had a history with concussion a long time ago so he's obviously dealing with some emotion there. But he wants to play finals footy. He's going to be missing for a few weeks and it's disappointing."
Meanwhile, Maynard has been referred directly to the AFL tribunal and is in danger of missing the remainder of the season. AFL match review officer Michael Christian graded Maynard's actions as careless conduct, severe impact and high contact. He is facing a ban of at least three matches as a result, and Collingwood only have a maximum of two left even if they win the grand final.
Unless Collingwood's lawyers can successfully downgrade one of Maynard's classifications, he will miss the Magpies' preliminary final - and grand final should they make it that far. "I don't want to say too much, but it's a footy act," he told the Seven Network after Collingwood's win.
"I came forward, I jumped to smother the ball and yeah, unfortunately I just got him on the way down. So I don't know. We'll have to wait and see what happens."
AFL Week 2 Finals schedule:
Melbourne v Carlton - Friday 7.50pm, MCG
Port Adelaide v GWS - Saturday 7.40pm, Adelaide Oval
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