Gary Ablett has shocked fans by returning to the field just minutes after suffering a nasty shoulder injury early in the AFL grand final.
Geelong fans were fearing the worst when their talisman veteran had to be helped from the field after going down injured in Saturday’s final at the Gabba.
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The retiring champion - playing his 357th and final match - hurt his left shoulder in a tackle from Tigers captain Trent Cotchin during an explosive opening five minutes.
Ablett was helped off the Gabba ground by trainers, clearly in pain, and was taken to the change rooms for medical assessment.
“He’s in a lot of pain. You can see him grimacing there in his face,” Daisy Pearce said in commentary for Channel 7.
But a huge cheer went around the ground when he reappeared on the bench at the 19-minute mark.
Ablett then returned to the field before quarter-time and didn’t appear to be too hampered.
Fans flocked to social media to celebrate Ablett’s “resurrection”, a play on words because of his famous father’s nickname “God”.
It’s Easter in October. The Son of God has risen 🙌🏻 Gazza is Back! #AFLGF
— Adam & Symon (@AdamandSymon) October 24, 2020
— Le Pippy (@lepippy) October 24, 2020
Is it the Son of God’s last game if he doesn’t come back from the dead? Come on guys - read a book. #AFLGF
— Tom Footy Daddy Reed (@AwkwardTreed) October 24, 2020
Nick Vlastuin knocked out in ‘sickening scenes’
Moments before Ablett’s injury, Richmond defender Nick Vlastuin was knocked out by an accidental high elbow from Patrick Dangerfield.
The Cats star punched a contested ball and made high contact with Vlastuin in the same action.
Vlastuin lay motionless for several minutes before being taken off the ground on a stretcher.
In a rough and tough opening term, Geelong’s Brandon Parfitt had his thumb checked for injury and Richmond's Nathan Broad was left groggy by a heavy collision and taken off the ground.
Fans and commentators couldn’t believe what they were seeing, with Bruce McAvaney describing the early carnage as “unimaginable”.
This is horrible in every sense of the word.
Even for 2020, this has taken things to another level. #AFLGF
— Alex Fair (@AJFair85) October 24, 2020
##AFLGF Sending positive thoughts to both players. Horrible images.
— Jo (@Jo_Gordon18) October 24, 2020
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