Bríd Stack has been released from hospital and is on the long road to recovery, her AFL club in Sydney has confirmed.
The Cork legend suffered a worrying neck injury near the end of her debut with the GWS Giants on Sunday in a practice match against Adelaide Crows in Norwood, outside Adelaide. The injury was sustained following a collision with midfielder Ebony Marinoff.
Subsequent scans revealed Stack has a stable fracture of the C7 vertebra though no injury to the surrounding nerves. She does not require surgery but will wear a neck brace in the short term, a Giants statement said.
“She is expected to make a full recovery and will remain in Australia and a key part of the team as she rehabilitates from her injury.” Stack was released from hospital early Monday (Irish time) to re-join the Giants squad who are based in Adelaide for at least the next two weeks.
The 34-year-old is an 11-time All-Ireland winner for Cork and was named the 2016 Ladies Footballer of the Year.
She is in Australia with her husband Carthach and one-year old son but the statement from the Giants indicates she will remain down under and has no plans to return home to Cork in the short term.
Giants Head of Women’s Football, Bri Harvey said: “This was an incredibly unfortunate accident and we’re thankful that Bríd has avoided serious injury.
“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.
“We’d like to thank all those who provided Bríd with the best possible care both at the ground and in hospital across Sunday.”
Meanwhile, AFL chiefs have confirmed that Adelaide midfielder Ebony Marinoff will face a disciplinary tribunal after conducting a review of the incident.
“Based on the available evidence, the incident was assessed as careless contact, severe impact and high contact,” read the AFL statement.
“The incident was classified as a direct referral to the Tribunal and (Marinoff) cannot be offered an early plea.”