AFL star hospitalised after gruesome blow
Melbourne Demons defender Steven May has suffered a gruesome eye injury during Sunday afternoon's 25-point victory over the Geelong Cats at the MCG.
Early in the second quarter, May attempted to tackle Geelong forward Tom Hawkins inside 50 near the boundary line, with the two-time premiership player awkwardly handballing to a teammate.
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But as Hawkins disposed of the Sherrin, his elbow accidentally made heavy contact with May's right eye, the defender immediately flopping on the turf.
The 29-year-old remained unmoved on the deck for almost a minute as trainers rushed onto the field.
The gruesome aftermath of the inconspicuous moment became apparent when May eventually returned to his feet - his right eye was swollen shut and covered in blood.
Hawkins walked over and apologised to the former Gold Coast captain, who was promptly taken out of the contest and replaced by medical substitute Tom Sparrow.
"I reckon that's a fracture of the eye socket," Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton told Fox Footy. "That could be more serious than a puffy eye.
"If that's in an MMA (fight), the umpire's saying, 'That's the fight.'
"That's taking out any big man. You see him just go limp.
"That eye's like mashed potato."
Steven May copped an accidental elbow from Tom Hawkins.— 7AFL (@7AFL) April 11, 2021
Jeez 😳 pic.twitter.com/6ZiQp9Yhma
Hopefully Steven May has avoided fractured eye socket. Sudden swelling suggests that is more of a concern than concussion.— Mark Stevens (@Stevo7AFL) April 11, 2021
Melbourne later confirmed May had been taken to hospital for further assessment.
If he suffered a concussion during the incident, May would be required to miss Melbourne's round five clash against Hawthorn under the AFL's newly-introduced concussion protocols.
In search of their fourth consecutive victory, the undefeated Demons raced to a 23-point lead at halftime.
"Melbourne are playing on a different level to Geelong at this point," Brereton told Fox Footy. "They're just finding extra numbers in-between the two 50s. When they go forward out of the backline, they've got real momentum pushing it inside 50."
Christian Petracca was a standout performer for the Demons, contributing two goals and a game-high 36 disposals.
"The way in which he's propelled his career in the last 18 months, he's really stamped himself as one of the real elite players in the league," Essendon great Jobe Watson told Channel 7.
"It's been in combination with him building his engine up, which has allowed him to be more in the midfield role then resting forward, whereas early in his career he was more a forward pinch-hitting in the midfield."
Although Geelong closed the margin to 12 points at three-quarter time, Melbourne held their nerve to clinch a 12.13 (85) to 9.6 (60) victory.
It's the first time Melbourne has started a season with four consecutive wins since 1994.
"We are playing as a team. That is the biggest thing - we are all connected," Petracca told Channel 7 after the win.
"The first four rounds have been unbelievable ... it has been an amazing start."
The Demons will next face Hawthorn at the MCG, while Geelong will host North Melbourne next weekend.
Originally published as AFL star hospitalised after gruesome blow