It was carnage on the scoreboard and in the North Melbourne emergency department as the Kangaroos were handed a 90-point beating by the Demons at the MCG.
Kangaroos forward Charlie Comben was seriously injured in the first quarter.
Trailing 30-0, Comben landed awkwardly in a tagging contest with opponent Jake Lever – immediately showing signs of distress.
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The 21-year-old had his leg, which appears to be likely broken, treated on the ground before play was stopped for several minutes as he was carried off the pitch on a stretcher.
Comben’s departure was greeted with a standing ovation from North Melbourne supporters at the MCG.
“Comben in a very bad state. Unfortunately, he has had a whole host of injuries which have been devastating for him throughout his career,” Western Bulldogs great Luke Darcy said in a commentary for Channel 7.
“We just hope it’s not as bad as it initially looked – it looked really bad. It’s just a horror start in every way.”
“It was pretty immediate from Comben… the doctors didn’t even hesitate, they immediately called the stretcher,” added Geelong legend Cameron Ling.
“Unfortunately you immediately think of the absolute worst…simply awful for young Charlie Comben and the Kangaroos. It didn’t look good at all.”
Due to the graphic nature of the incident, no replays were aired by the host broadcasters.
Comben was taken from the MCG in an ambulance, with his family traveling separately.
The big man has become a mainstay in North Melbourne’s roster this season after a series of early career injury horrors since being drafted with the No.31 pick in the 2019 draft.
Later, ruckman Callum Coleman-Jones walked off the field for a concussion evaluation after finishing second in a contest with Steven May. He did not return to the game.
Midfielder Tom Powell also added to North’s injury problems, suffering a leg injury in the fourth term.
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