Cork titan Bríd Stack suffered a serious neck injury in her AFLW debut with Greater Western Sydney Giants in a pre-season match on Sunday.
Following a freaky collision with Adelaide Crows midfielder Ebony Marinoff, Stack’s Aussie Rules campaign seems to have been cruelly cut short before getting going, receiving precautionary spinal restriction treatment with the on-field medical staff for half an hour before the game was then abandoned and she was rushed to hospital.
Unfortunately Irish recruit Brid Stack has been taken to hospital following spinal precaution protocols after a collision in a tackle late in the fourth quarter.
She’s in the best possible care and we will provide a full update when we have further information. pic.twitter.com/VtSJ3u7fKl
— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) January 17, 2021
Thankfully Stack’s injury did not require surgery as there was no nerve damage reported but the 34-year-old did sustain a stable fracture to the C7 vertebra in her neck.
With the GWS Giant’s season set to begin at the end of the month in Perth versus Fremantle this cruel setback will condemn the 11 time All Ireland winner to the side-line for up to 6 weeks.
Stack travelled to Australia with her husband and son following a three year courtship with the Sydney Aussie Rules side.
In a statement from the Giants Head of Football Bri Harvey, he acknowledged that "Bríd and her family have made incredible sacrifices to come to Australia to play in the AFL Women’s competition and we will be supporting them all the way through her recovery”.
They have expressed that Stack will remain a "key part of the team" while she recovers and Harvey gave special mention to those who tended to the Cork native on the day.
"We’d like to thank all those who provided Bríd with the best possible care both at the ground and in hospital across Sunday," she said.
Bríd Stack has been released from hospital but is set to be sidelined following an incident in a tackle during yesterday's practice match.
— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) January 18, 2021
The practice match which the incident occurred was suspended following freak accident. It was undoubtedly a freak accident and there appeared to be no malice from the opposition player.
Despite that and more to do with the extent of the injury rather than the actual incident itself, Marinoff has been suspended for three AFLW games for her part in the incident - this is the longest suspension in the history of the AFLW.
After hearing the verdict of the suspension, Marinoff said, “I’m really disappointed with this outcome, it was never my intention to hurt Bríd."
“Every time I go onto the footy field I want to play hard but fair football and I believe that’s what I did on Sunday.
“I reached out to Bríd to send her my best and I wish her a fast recovery.”
Ebony Marinoff has been found guilty of engaging in forceful front-on contact at the AFL Tribunal tonight and has been suspended for three matches. Below is the incident in question, more to come #weflyasone #crowsaflw pic.twitter.com/3FDLg1kXmQ
— Adelaide Crows AFLW (@CrowsAFLW) January 19, 2021