Barlow breaks leg as Freo beat Port - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barlow breaks leg as Freo beat Port

By Justin Chadwick 03/07/2010 08:12:55 PM Comments (0)

The dream debut season of Michael Barlow is over after the 22-year-old suffered an horrific broken leg in Fremantle's 57-point AFL win over Port Adelaide on Saturday.

In scenes reminiscent to the broken leg suffered by former Richmond star Nathan Brown in 2005, Barlow was stretchered from the field and rushed straight to hospital after teammate Rhys Palmer accidentally slid into his left leg late in the match.

Barlow tried to stand up after the impact but crashed back to the turf in agony as his broken leg wobbled about in sickening fashion.

The prolific midfielder, recruited to the Dockers this year via the rookie list, started the round as second favourite to win the Brownlow Medal in what had been a fairytale start to his AFL career.

A stony-faced Fremantle coach Mark Harvey said the injury had shaken the club.

"It's obviously a broken leg and quite serious," Harvey said.

"We'll monitor it over the next 48 hours and get some reports from the hospital.

"He's fairly distressed ...

"His brothers went there after the game and were consoling him.

"He's come a long way and football does test you in many ways and it will test us in the near future.

"I guess when you have a look at Michael and his character and he went to stand up and all of a sudden his leg gave away, that's the strength of the guy."

While Brown failed to recapture his best form and suffered numerous setbacks from his broken leg, former Brisbane captain and current coach Michael Voss managed to carve out a glittering career despite shattering his leg in 1998 - ironically playing against the Dockers at Subiaco Oval.

"I think there's a few players who have been through this type of injury before and no doubt in time he'll probably speak to those guys and understand you can come back from those types of injuries and be the same player," Harvey said.

Harvey described the 17.13 (115) to 8.10 (58) win as a "hollow victory" and said he would also console Palmer over the incident.

"It's not his fault, it's just a collision, it's unfortunate," Harvey said.

"I need to talk to him.

"I thought a few of the players immediately did as soon as the siren went."

Fremantle are now two games clear inside the top four but face a mammoth task to replace Barlow, who averaged 28 possessions and booted 15 goals in his first 13 AFL games.

"If people want to suggest that because we've lost Mick that it may be the end of us, well then do that at your own peril," a defiant Harvey said.

"It's always difficult (to replace him), he's a unique player.

"We've got some players coming back over the next couple of weeks but whether they have the impact that Michael has remains to be seen. "It's called trying to share the load in that area without replacing the player." The Dockers will also be without Antoni Grover for at least two weeks after the defender injured his hamstring, while Nat Fyfe (concussion) will be assessed during the week after being knocked out cold by teammate Dylan Roberton in a marking contest.

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