Charlie Comben news leaves AFL fans shattered after 'horrible' scenes

The North Melbourne youngster suffered a broken leg during the Roos' clash with the Demons.

Charlie Comben, pictured here after suffering a broken leg in the awful incident.
Charlie Comben suffered a broken leg in the awful incident. Image: Getty

AFL fans have expressed their heartache for Charlie Comben after the North Melbourne youngster suffered a serious leg injury against Melbourne on Saturday night. The 21-year-old was transferred to hospital after breaking his leg and will undergo surgery to have a plate inserted.

Comben, who has a history of left leg injuries, suffered the horror injury when he went for a mark in the opening quarter. Play was suspended for several minutes while the youngster was being treated, before he was taken from the ground on a medicab.

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Significantly, Channel 7 opted against showing replays of the gruesome incident. “He’s unfortunately had a whole series of injuries that have been devastating for him right throughout his career, and we’re just hoping this isn’t as bad as it looked initially,” Luke Darcy said on Channel 7. “It’s just a horror start this all around.”

Co-commentator Cameron Ling said: “He put his hand up straight away. The doctor’s called for the stretcher immediately. Unfortunately you do think the absolute worst straight away for what that injury looked like when it landed.”

Speaking in his post-match press conference, North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson confirmed the outlook is grim for Comben. "I was told on the bench he has a fracture to his lower leg, it will require some surgery," Clarkson said.

Charlie Comben, pictured here being taken off the field on a medicab during North Melbourne's clash with Melbourne.
Charlie Comben is taken off the field on a medicab during North Melbourne's clash with Melbourne. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"They're going to probably put a plate in of some description. That's a blow to us, he's a young guy trying to make his way in the game.

“It was his seventh game on the trot and getting that continuity was going to be important for him. He’s shown in the games that he’s played … that he is a great prospect for us and we have just got to get his body right now and get him going later in the year if we can.”

North Melbourne’s general manager of football Todd Viney said at half-time: “From what I understand, it is not positive. He will be frustrated. He has had a really terrible run with injuries in the early part of his career. He had a really good pre-season, so he would be devastated, no doubt.”

North Melbourne's horror night against Demons

It wasn't the only injury that North picked up on Saturday night, with fellow forward Callum Coleman-Jones also forced out of the game in the third term with concussion after coming off second-best in a marking contest with Steven May. Tom Powell also needed help from trainers as he went off after rolling his ankle in the last term, completing a disastrous night for the Kangaroos.

The 22.7 (139) to 7.7 (49) win for Melbourne marked North's biggest losing margin under Clarkson. It was also the Demons' fourth 100-plus score this season.

"It was exactly what we wanted," Goodwin said. "We really wanted to put the defensive side of our game to them and we did that for the majority of the night."

Clarkson noted that Melbourne had as many as 10 players in their side of All-Australian quality and were just too good for the rebuilding Kangaroos. "We came up against a bloody, really good side," he said.

"I thought we played better tonight than we had in the last two weeks - the 90-point margin doesn't suggest it. We competed in different areas of the game really, really well. But out of a half chance, they'd make a full opportunity and out of a full opportunity for us, we'd somehow turn it into a half or a quarter-chance."

with AAP

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