Simon Goodwin's admission about Christian Petracca and partner amid ugly family furore

Reports have emerged that Petracca and his family are unhappy with the Melbourne Demons.

Melbourne Demons coach Simon Goodwin has dismissed reports that Christian Petracca and his family are angry at the club for their handling of his injuries and the decision to let him back on the field. Petracca is in isolation at home after spending over a week in hospital with four broken ribs, a lacerated spleen and punctured lung.

The decision from the Demons' doctors to allow Petracca back on the field before the extent of his injuries were known sparked widespread backlash, and this week it was reported that his family are not happy with the club. Leading reporter Tom Morris told SEN radio: "The fact that he released the news that he was out for the rest of the season before the club did probably gives you an indication of what he and his family...they're upset, frustrated at the club.

"I think it's more to do with what happened in the days that followed. There's certainly a feeling from the Petracca that the club could have done things better."

Simon Goodwin and Christian Petracca.
Simon Goodwin has dismissed ugly reports around Christian Petracca and his family. Image: Getty

Caroline Wilson elaborated on Channel 9 program 'Footy Classified', saying: "Melbourne have asked themselves if they could have been more sensitive in their comments about Petracca being out for 12 weeks without contact training. Maybe they shouldn't have mentioned anything about training given the terrible situation.

"It's difficult because do you deal with the player and his partner - when the player is 28 and lives with his partner - or do you deal with the parents? Maybe they needed to talk to everyone and not just Petracca and his partner. Is it that his family are just completely shocked and shattered by what happened? I think it goes back to the decision to put him back on."

Christian Petracca.
Christian Petracca suffered four broken ribs, a lacerated spleen and punctured lung - but was allowed back on the field. Image: Getty

But Goodwin moved to hose down reports of ill-will on Wednesday, revealing he's had many dealings with the Petracca family. "We were surprised by the reports, Christian's surprised by the reports, and we're really confident the family and Christian's in a great place," the coach said.

"The only thing I can go by is the conversations with Christian and (partner) Bella, and the fact that we've spent a lot of time with Christian and Bella and they're incredibly thankful with the support the club's given. From players, coaches, management and our welfare team who's not only been dealing with Christian but also his family."

Christian Petracca and partner Bella.
Christian Petracca and partner Bella at the 2022 Brownlow Medal. Image: Getty

Goodwin also slammed suggestions the club's doctors had acted against Petracca's best interests by clearing him to return to the field. "I trust our medical team like never before - they're unbelievable at what they do and they're independent to the game," Goodwin said. "They did all the assessments possible and we're really comfortable where that stood.

"It wasn't until a long time post (-game) that an internal injury was diagnosed - and they're very hard injuries to diagnose. All the tests they did suggested Christian wasn't OK - when he wasn't OK, then he was removed from the game and sent off for further examination."


Goodwin also responded to talk about medical scanning equipment being available at all AFL grounds so players could be properly diagnosed sooner. "Even a scanning facility at the ground wouldn't have picked it up - Christian's injuries weren't picked up until 2am, after two or three scans," he said.

"Yeah, we can have scanning facilities there, but will that still make a difference? Who knows. We trust our doctors, we trust what they provide and we trust how they assess people."

with AAP