AFL stars talk about head knocks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL stars talk about head knocks

Roger Vaughan 01/04/2011 12:27:44 AM Comments (0)

The gun midfielder hopes to play this weekend, the fearless captain must wait two months and the 20-year-old will never play again.

With concussion a hot topic in the AFL, players Joel Selwood, Jonathan Brown and Tom Hunter are dealing with the consequences of heavy hits to their heads.

Selwood, the Geelong acting captain, was taken to hospital last Friday night after a sickening collision with St Kilda midfielder Farren Ray left him concussed.

Brown, Brisbane's skipper and one of the toughest players in the game, suffered multiple facial fractures and damage around his voice box on Saturday night in an accidental collision with Fremantle defender Luke McPharlin.

After consultations with brain specialists, Collingwood rookie Tom Hunter must give the game away altogether because of a congenital spinal condition.

During the pre-season, Hunter had a second serious knock to his head in the space of a few months and suffered severe tingling in his arms.

Geelong picked Selwood for Saturday night's Perth game against Fremantle and he hopes to play.

"More and more, it's looking pretty likely that I will play," he told the Nine Network's The Footy Show.

"I'm in the best hands ... with my doctors looking after me and I will continue to do what they say."

Brown said he felt no ill will towards McPharlin and described the impact as particularly unlucky.

"My nose was about the only thing that was left intact," he said.

"Obviously it was an accident and the surgeon just thinks I was hit in the wrong spot, the sweet spot - it could have happened to anyone."

Brown accepts he will probably be out of action for about two months.

Hunter, who was yet to make his official senior debut, suffered a knock to the head during the NAB Cup semi-final against West Coast.

It followed another serious head impact last year while playing in the VFL.

Specialists have told him he cannot play again at any level because of his spinal condition.

"Obviously it's just shattering ... you work so hard for pretty much your whole life and then to be told something you can't control is ending your football career, you don't wish it upon anybody," he said.

Hunter explained he was diagnosed with a narrowing of his spinal canal, a condition he has had since berth.

"It means my spinal cord doesn't have enough room to move," he said.

"So whenever I get an impact to my head, I tear some ligaments and hurt some nerves in there.

"I get some pretty bad tingles in my arms - pretty much related to glass tearing my arms, it's pretty unpleasant."

Hunter was told that another bad head knock could leave him paralysed.

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